Many people fighting the flu - FOX 13 News

Many people fighting the flu

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

If you're fighting a nasty cough or cold that you just can't kick, you're not alone. The Florida Department of Health is watching a wave of flu-like cases saturate Hillsborough County. The Department of Health says the number of cases is at its highest point in three years.

South Tampa Urgent Care has been slammed with walk-in patients, desperately looking for relief. Dr. Robert Griffin says many patients share the same telltale symptoms.

"Mostly the people start off with a severe sore throat, can have sinus congestion, and then it moves into a cough," Griffin said Friday.

While you'll likely have to ride out those stuffy symptoms, it's recommended you still see a physician sooner, rather than later.

"If we can get you in within the first 48 hours and get you on the antiviral medications such as Tamiflu, the thought is that we can shorten the course as well as the symptoms and severity of the disease," Griffin said.

The Department of Health also recommends getting a flu shot, which is proving to be a good match for this season's strain.

"It takes about two weeks for the flu shot to become 100 percent effective. But we're seeing people who got the flu shot this year aren't getting sick," said Steve Huard of the Florida Department of Health.

While flu season generally peaks in January, experts are optimistic that you can trash your box of tissues soon.

"I'm hoping as we get out of the holiday season that it will tend to slow down," Griffin said.

As we stick out the rest of flu season, the Department of Health reminds that it's more important than ever to wash your hands with warm, soapy water. They also encourage anyone that's sick to stay home, to avoid infecting loved ones or coworkers.

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