Fighting the Flu
The symptoms may feel like the common cold: fever and dry coughing, body aches and pain, nausea and vomitting.
The flu, which if left untreated, can cause complications that on average hospitalizes 200,000 people every year nationwide, and as many as 36,000 die from the virus. Waiting rooms in local health clinics are nearly filled to capacity. Flu season is at its peak and Immediate Care Center in Gainesville has already confirmed 93 cases of the influenza virus.
"It is a very high number for the influenza, for something that powerful that it can put you out of work for a week, it impacts the area very much so," Kyle Baxter from North Florida Immediate Care Center said.
"What with the weather, the February weather being as bad and severe as it's been you're gonna have a lot more people staying inside more clustering in that regard, which is the formula for how you spread a respiratory disease," the Director of Alachua County's Health Department, Thomas Belcuore said.
While it's easy to catch, it's not always easy to cure. Health experts say prevention is the best medicine. The flu shot and the recently released nasal flu mist are effective according to the Centers for Disease Control.
The flu season begins as early as September and runs into spring, so health experts say it isn't too late to get the flu vaccine.
By Stacey Samuel, WCJB TV 20 News
- Your Health: Fighting the Flu
- Hospitals See More Flu Cases, Mostly Swine Flu
- Community Immunity: Flu Shots
- The state now has five confirmed cases and 15 probable cases of swine flu.
- Possible Case of Swine Flu in Marion County
- Second Swine Flu Death in Florida Confirmed
- Swine Flu Update
- Swine Flu Update: Two More Deaths Confirmed
- T.B. McPherson Case Not Swine Flu, City Says
- Swine Flu Update: A Total of 31 Deaths in Florida