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Flu shot still best defense against getting the flu
Updated: Friday, January 18 2013, 04:57 PM EST
Escambia County doctors started seeing flu like symptoms in patients back in September and that number has escalated in the past months reaching its peak earlier than usual.
Sacred Heart Hospital says they've seen 546 patients with the flu so far, Baptist is reporting 412 confirmed cases.
Flu season came early this year.
Here at the Urgent Care Clinic at Baptist you might have to wait a few minutes longer than normal to see a doctor.
The good news is it's not hours.
To stay away from the doctor's room doctors recommend the flu shot.
That's what brought to George Coolbaugh to this Walgreen's Pharmacy.
"My mom has had the flu and she's been sick for about three weeks and I said I'm not getting it this year."
Doctors say the flu shot is about 60 percent effective.
But it's still the best chance at protecting from the three different strains of the flu making its way around this winter.
If you think* you have the flu doctors urge you to pay them a visit within 48 hours from the time you feel symptoms.
They say anti-biotics won't work but medicines like Tami-flu and other anti-virals can help*
Tracy Redmond, Nurse Practitioner, Baptist
"It will shorten the duration of symptoms, perhaps lessen the symptoms but it won't cure the flu..."
Doctor's say symptoms can last up to weeks.
George Coolbough wants no part of it choosing the vaccine over a doctor's visit and weeks of agony.
"I have a family to take care of and a very important job that needs me there every day so I'm not going to let it get me down this year."
There's still about two months of flu season left.
And doctors are strongly urging you get the flu shot, if you haven't yet.
For more on the flu outbreak, and cases in your area, just log onto weartv.com and look under Hot Topics.