Peak of Mid-South flu season 2 weeks away

Published: Dec. 26, 2014 at 6:56 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 27, 2014 at 12:53 AM CST
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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Doctors say the Mid-South is two weeks from the peak of flu season, after many people are already struggling through a sick Christmas holiday.

The season's first flu deaths are being seen in other parts of the country.

On top of the flu, doctors say two other bugs are also circulating.

"It's going around the office and then people have sick children. People bring it to the office. Just stay home people," said Memphian Nicolette Thomas.

The flu, the common cold, and the stomach flu are flooding Mid-South doctors' offices.

Internist and pediatrician Dr. Allison Stiles said, "We're seeing everything. We're seeing stomach flu, vomiting, diarrhea."

The big concern is the flu because it can be deadly.

"Getting a fever and body aches are usually the first things. So if you have a sore throat first and just a runny nose, it may not be the flu," Stiles explained.

You can get a rapid flu test at the pharmacy at the first sign of illness or check with your doctor or an urgent care facility.

"You can get Tamiflu and all your family who have been around you can get Tamiflu," advised Stiles.

Emergency rooms are for extreme cases.

Some people are boosting their immune systems through diet.

"We get a lot of kale and spinach and apples and carrots. We put it all in together and drink it," explained Thomas. "We stay pretty healthy doing that."

Marianne Gossett, who also lives in Memphis, says, "I take zinc and eat healthy."

Doctors urge you get the flu shot fast.

The flu is closing in on Tennessee. As seen in a flu map from the CDC, the brown areas indicate widespread cases. The yellow image of Tennessee is one level beneath widespread.

"The flu is everywhere. The shot takes a couple weeks to kick in so don't wait much longer," said Stiles.

Even if the flu vaccine was developed before the strain mutated, doctors still say you should get the flu shot.

Stiles said, "It's not perfect this year, but it's better than nothing."

Click here to learn more about the flu.

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