CDC reports "widespread flu activity" in Virginia

By Andy Jenks - bio | email

Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Flu season seems to be getting worse in Virginia. It appears to be so bad, in fact that, Virginia one of only two states reporting widespread activity.

Specific numbers, are not available, but that shouldn't be cause for alarm.

"Every year you're gonna hit widespread at some point," said Dr. Diane Woolard of the Virginia Department of Health.

It happened around this same time, last year. Reports of sore throats, fevers and severe body aches, occurring in patients within 48 hours.

"By day two, usually, it's not a mystery. You feel like a war's being fought inside you and there's not  going to be winner," says Dr. Kenneth Lucas of Patient First.

There are several ways to prevent the flu, including good hand washing, and of course, the flu shot. It's most effective if taken before the flu season, but it's not too late to get one now.

Doctors say this year's vaccine has performed very well, even though there will be exceptions.

"Just realize that if people have fevers and coughs and sore throats, that people could have the flu, but we really don't know for sure because there are other viruses that cause the same symptoms," Woolard said.

Ultimately, though, Virginia's apparent widespread flu activity may not be any worse than neighboring states. Health professionals say  Virginia simply does a good job of reporting its cases.

Some of the numbers may be influenced by people with flu like symptoms, and not the flu.

A doctor can help figure out the difference, and treat you properly, if you address the symptoms within the first 48 hours.

Doctors are expecting the flu season to last several more weeks.

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