The flu is spreading fast in the Magnolia State - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

The flu is spreading fast in the Magnolia State

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The flu is spreading fast in the Magnolia State. Doctors warn this could amount to the worst season in years. According to state health officials, around  19,800 patients were treated by doctors for the flu across the state since January 13. That's just the number reported.

“We are having influenza epidemic this year," said Pulmonologist, Dr. Maria Rappai. "Our season actually started early, and we still don't think we have peaked.”

Doctors at Baptist Medical Center say they have seen a rise in patients coming in with the flu and the virus is stronger and lasting longer.

“Our hospital is tied up with a lot of flu followed by pneumonia,” added Dr. Rappai.

Doctors say many folks are facing an aggressive influenza strain and it shouldn't be ignored.

“This year the bad one is the H3N2 strain. They both can make you Ill," said Dr. Rappai. "What happens is when your body is exposed to the flu virus, your body is trying to attack the virus. It is like a war zone in your body."

Pharmacists at Beemon Drugs in Jackson agree.  They point out that the flu vaccination is the best way to protect yourself from the flu.  In fact, hundreds of people have been filing in to get the shot.

“A lot of people also think it does not help and It's not covering the strains that we're seeing, so there's no point in getting it," said pharmacist Whitney Harris. "But we are seeing that if you get the flu shot, like any vaccine, it's not 100%, but it does give you some coverage and it could make your severity of the flu a lot less. People who have the flu and got the flu shot they're not experiencing it as bad as people who have not had the vaccine.”

Flu activity usually peaks between December and February, although activity can last as late as May.

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