This flu season the worst in doctor's memory - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

This flu season the worst in doctor's memory

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(WMC-TV) - The flu outbreak is spreading across and the country affecting 47 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

It is impossible to estimate just how many people have had the flu in Memphis and Shelby County, but doctors with Baptist Medical Group say they have no treated this many patients in decades.

In 30 years of practicing medicine, Dr. Mark Castellaw cannot recall a worse flu season.

"The day after New Year's, when we came in and there was a line outside, we knew something was up," said Dr. Castellaw.

Dr. Castellaw says people may have become complacent because last year's flu season was so mild.

The flu strain going around is a very serious one, in a season that started early and has not let up.

"Makes you think that maybe they don't have the right treatments, maybe we don't have the right vaccine this time," said Roxie Wallace, who is worried about the flu.

Typically scientists are 90 percent accurate when determining the specific strains that need to be addressed with a flu shot.

A simple swab test in the nose can determine whether you've got the flu, an epidemic many Mid-Southerners are doing everything they can to avoid.

Dr. Castellaw says there has been talk about putting out a second flu shot each season to supplement the first one in case it is not on target.

But he says by the time the shot is cleared for commercial use, it would be too late in the season.

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