JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - We are heading into the New Year with an increase in flu cases nationwide.
Here in the Magnolia State, physicians report that the activity is moderate, but that could easily change.
“I was so ill. I had not been that sick as an adult that I could ever remember,” said UMMC Preventive Medicine Specialist Dr. Joyce Olutade. Despite receiving annual vaccinations, Olutade was exposed to the flu last year and contracted the virus.
Mississippi is one of the southeastern states seeing a rise in flu activity, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Neighboring states Alabama and Louisiana are experiencing high flu activity also.
“Last month, here at UMMC, we had 16 confirmed cases of the flu,” said Dr. Olutade. “This December, we’ve had 116 confirmed cases. It’s still less that what we had last year, because about this time last year we had over 800 cases.”
According to the CDC the H1N1 virus is prevalent nationally.
The H3N2 Virus is most common in Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina and Tennessee.
Cases have jumped 2.7 percent nationally in the past three weeks.
Larry Lindsey of Jackson said he has not gotten a flu shot this year.
“I use a little remedy of honey and orange juice,” said Lindsey. “So I use that, and I’ve been free of the flu for about three years now.”
Deja Winfrey of Lena is also taking her chances.
“I’ve never gotten a flu shot, and I’ve also never gotten the flu,” said Winfrey. “Me myself, I just go and hope for the best.”
The CDC expects that elevated flu activity will continue for weeks. Dr. Olutade recommends that you get the flu shot, wash hands frequently, cough into a tissue or your sleeve and avoid people who already have the virus or flu like symptoms.