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Central Florida prepares for flu season peak

Health officials expect more cases in the next several weeks

The peak of flu season is just getting started. Centra Care is reporting hundred of patients are coming to its offices across Central Florida with the symptoms.

This year's cold snap has Central Florida bundling up and fighting off the flu.

[MORE: Flu information, symptoms ]

"We're just getting started and I would predict it's going to get worse in the next couple of weeks," Dr. Tim Hendrix, the Medical Director of Centra Care said.

Hendrix says the number of flu cases has increased in the past two months from 80 in the beginning of January to 400 in the last few weeks. He adds cases of the common cold are also high. Centra Care is seeing about a thousand cases a week.

Health officials are expecting the cold and flu season will get worse.

"When we see that rapid rise it usually means we have about another two to three weeks before we get to topping out on the number of cases," Hendrix said. "Then we have another six weeks of very busy flu season even after that as things start to drop back off, but still a lot of sick people out there."

Hendrix says most patients coming into Centra Care did not get a flu shot. He tells News 6 the vaccine is better this year. He adds it is not too late to get one.

"We're looking at several weeks of flu activity ahead of us, perhaps even a couple of months of flu activity, so there's still a chance to get your shot and protect yourself from an infection if you haven't already gotten infected," he said.

Despite the numbers, Hendrix says the cold and flu season is not as bad as it was this time last year.

Hendrix says to protect yourself from getting sick, he suggests limiting contact with anyone who has the flu, wash your hands, use hand sanitizer, and disinfect common surfaces, such as doorknobs and keyboards.


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