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Local health experts' advice for this flu season

Updated: Tuesday, January 15 2013, 11:55 AM EST
The flu has officially become an "epidemic" according to the National Centers for Disease Control.

Local health experts have been keeping a close eye on the problem and have some advice to help those who get sick.   

Pharmacies in Northwest Florida tell us they've been surprised by this cold and flu season for one simple reason.

"It started before October 1. We were kinda surprised by it. Usually when the kids go back to school it flare's up, it becomes crazy at that point. But it comes early and it's stayed," said Adam Bass.

Bass, pharmacy tech at the Cantonment Pharmacy says when folks come in here with cold and flu symptoms, Adam and the pharmacy team offer up some simple advice.

 "Go ahead and start any kind of medication, if you have it at home for the aches and stuff. I really recommend going to the doctor this year, not to wait around," Bass said.

The director of the Centers for Disease Control says the flu vaccine is far from perfect., but it remains the best way to protect yourself from getting the flu. Especially for children and older Americans.

And one might think that with the cold and flu season arriving early, we might be out of the woods.

But Bass says that might not be the case.

"It seemed like it had been slowing down a little bit as of late. But I was just reading on the internet that the virus, the flu this year, is very resilient and will be around for a while longer this year," he said.

And the experts tell us that since no one wants to suffer any longer than they have to, and that's why as soon as you notice some symptoms, you need to get them treated as soon as possible.

Local health experts' advice for this flu season

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Flu Signs and Symptoms

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:


Flu Symptoms (more intense than common cold):

  • Fever 
  • Body aches
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Dry cough are more common and intense
  • Chills
  • HeadachesCommon

Cold Symptoms:  
  • Stuffy/runny nose
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Fever is rare
  • Slight body aches
  • Mild fatigue

Source: Centers for Disease Control

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