'It will be coming’: Doctors warn of bad flu season ahead

'It will be coming’: Doctors warn of bad flu season ahead

HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - Flu season has already begun, and doctors expect a bad strain this year.

The Virginia Department of Health gave out free flu shots all day on Tuesday at the Henrico County Adult Education Center.

“We’ve seen a rise in the number of shots administered every year,” said David Caulkins with the Henrico County Health Department.

Caulkins said that the clinic is also a good training exercise for the Henrico Health Department’s emergency operations plans to ensure that they are ready for pandemic flu.

According to experts, the flu vaccine is the best protection against what’s expected to be a severe flu season. Although at this point, the Center for Disease Control is only reporting sporadic activity in most states.

“Little bit of an uptick on the West Coast, in California, but we have not really seen that here on the East Coast. But rest assured, it will be coming,” said Dr. Jeffrey Mason with Bon Secours.

Dr. Mason explained how medical experts believe this year’s flu strain is especially worrisome.

“We’re getting information out of Australia, where their winter just ended. They had a pretty severe winter, with pretty severe cases of the flu,” he said.

In fact, Australia reportedly had six-times as many flu cases as last year.

Mason says in order to fight the bug, you need to recognize the warning signs.

“Fever, aches is usually the hallmark of a flu. Bone aches, body aches, you’re going to feel like you got hit by a train. Often times, sore throat, maybe a cough. Those are going to be the telltale signs of the flu," he said.

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