Flu season off to early start in the Mid-South

Flu season off to early start in the Mid-South

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The flu season is off to its earliest start in more than a decade.

More than two million cases of the flu have already been reported nationwide.

“We have not even remotely seen the peak of flu season yet,” said Dr. Dale Criner, Saint Francis Healthcare.

Doctors across the Mid-South are keeping busy with no end in sight.

“Starting to see all age groups come. Within the last week, we've seen children under the age of six months and patients from the nursing home with influenza,” said Criner.

Criner says this flu season has been different than years past.

“It never really stopped. We saw cases throughout the summer, previously in June or July. We just didn't see any flu activity. And this year there were a few cases sporadically, so we actually looked at the state database and that was the case across the state where will still had some cases,” said Criner.

The CDC lists Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi as states with high levels of flu activity.

The Arkansas Department of Health reports seven deaths so far this flu season.

The CDC estimates more than a thousand flu-related deaths nationwide.

“Some people will have a lower grade temperature, body aches, cough, nausea -- like a bad cold. Other people will be literally bed confined that they are so weak that they vomit profusely their fever gets up to 103, 104,” said Criner.

There are different kinds of flu viruses.

The CDC reports that current flu activity is being caused mostly by the influenza B virus.

Which they say is unusual for this time of the year.

“Not too late at all, by any stretch of the imagination to get a flu shot. It's very important to do so. It takes about a week or two weeks to get full immunity,” said Criner.

If you do get the flu, Dr. Criner says the best thing to do is stay hydrated and treat your symptoms.

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