The CDC reports flu is spreading across the nation. But the good news is that Florida is not one of the top twenty-five States. yet.
As more seasonal travelers visit the Suncoast, those numbers may rise.
and there are misconceptions about how you avoid getting the flu.
Flu season runs from Sept through March, currently our numbers may be lower for a couple of reasons. Said Vilma Vege, M.D. of Infectious Disease Associates. "We spend a lot of our time outdoors, and a lot of our population are elderly and we realize that a lot of people get their vaccines earlier because they are elderly." Said Dr. Vega.
H1N1, known in the past as swine flu, is currently the most common strain of influenza circulating. But the flu is a virus, which means it can touch everyone.
Michael Drennon, an Epidemiologist of the D.O.H. in Sarasota said, "Everyone's at risk, there are certain groups that are at greater risk, particularly those that are very young, and those that are over the age of sixty-five and then pregnant women are also at increased risk." He added, "You can die from the flu."
Its rare, but, severe cases or secondary infections caused by the flu can kill you.
Many are under the false assumption but will bundling up protect you?
A myth said Dr. Vega.
"You can't get the flu from it being cold outside, and you just walking out and getting the flu." You get the flu from more intimate contact. Said Dr. Vega. "Somebody might sneeze in that airspace and you might be in that proximity and get that virus or somebody directly spreading it to you while talking." She said.
And there's another myth. "That you can get the flu after you get the flu vaccine, that's incorrect as well. Said Dr. Vega. Your response to the vaccine may be mistaken for the flu.
"You can have flu like symptoms, soreness, aches and lethargy, but, you cant get the flu from a flu shot." Said Drennon.
For information on flu shots you can visit the D.O.H, visit your local pharmacy, or, your primary care physician.