This year's flu 'nastier,' doctors say - FOX 13 News

This year's flu 'nastier,' doctors say

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(Courtesy of the CDC) (Courtesy of the CDC)
TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Getting a flu shot has been a priority for some.

"I'm pretty good at following my kids' doctor's directions, so when she tells us we should get them vaccinated we do," said Michelle Drab.

Some get the shot to stay healthy.

"I have plenty of friends who are doctors and work in infection control, so they all suggest getting it, so I got it. It's better than being sick," said Carlee Beveridge.

For others, it is a necessity.

"I have a chronic auto immune disease so if I don't get my flu shot and I get the flu, it would be worse than a healthy person, it would be a life risk for me," said Penni Zuercher.

A map from the CDC shows a regional outbreak of the flu. Google flu tracker lists Tampa with a moderate-high outbreak. Doctors have determined the strain of flu is H1N1, known as "Swine Flu."
   
"We are certainly more busy right now; we are seeing a lot of folks with cough cold flu," said Dr. Jeremy Tharp.

Tharp, who is with MedExpress, says he stays busy with all the flu shots.

"It really does decrease the risk of getting the flu, and even in folks who get the flu, it tends to decrease the severity of the infection," he said.

Shands Hospital at the University of Florida has been the epicenter of the flu epidemic.

Just two days ago, we learned 12 people are dead from the flu, and 150 have been hospitalized in the North Florida hospital.

Doctors there have been studying the virus. They say it's nowhere near a pandemic, but it is serious for different reasons.
   
"It seems to suggest not so much that there is a lot of flu out there, but the flu that is out there tends to be a little bit nastier," said Dr. Glenn Morris.

Doctors say the flu appears to be slowing down but suggest people prepare themselves with a flu shot.

"It looks like our numbers are coming down. We seem to be leveling off, but giving what is going on with the rest of the country and what we're hearing out of Gainesville, I still think we should be very concerned, and it's not too late to get that shot," recommends FOX 13's Dr. Joette Giovinco.

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