As flu numbers rise, more people seek shots - FOX 13 News

As flu numbers rise, more people seek shots

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

This season's flu strain is proving to pack some serious punch. The CDC's most recent report shows flu cases are on the rise statewide.

"We haven't seen this much disease or infection in the community since the H1N1 virus of 2009," said Steve Huard of the Hillsborough County Health Department.

Health care clinics across the Tampa Bay area are flooded with patients suffering from the flu. As the season reaches a spike, some say they're seeing a second wave of people finally rolling up their sleeves to get the flu shot.

"We've definitely seen a definite increase in the flu vaccines we've been giving," said Angela Swary of CVS's Minute Clinic.

Swary says she's been backed up with patients for the past two weeks.

"They come in. They were feeling fine the day before. They woke up, they're having body aches, fever, chills. The Mack truck scenario, they feel like they've been run over by a truck," she said.

There is some good news: this year's flu shot is a solid match to the season's strain, which isn't always the case. While the majority of the vaccinations are done in the fall, it's still your best defense against getting sick.

"The flu shot takes about two weeks for your body to pick up the immunity and for you to get all the benefits from the flu shot. But that's not to say it's too late in the season to get it," Huard said Thursday.

The Florida Department of Health reports two influenza-related deaths in the state so far this season.

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