State Health Department ‘really, really concerned’ after seeing severe flu season in Australia

Start of flu season has State Health Department ‘really, really concerned’

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - It may not be chilly right now, but that doesn’t mean the flu isn’t lurking.

The State Health Department reports the first case is in the books.

“We’re starting to see flu activity, and we’re really, really concerned about it,” said State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs.

The State Health Department’s first laboratory confirmed case of the flu this season is in a child under 18.

Nationwide there were 116 pediatric flu deaths last year. One was in Mississippi.

Medical officials say this case in mid-October could be an indicator of the season to come.

“This is a good indicator that the flu season may really be right around the corner. Flu severity is different from year to year,” added Dr. Dobbs. “There are some concerns because they had a severe season in Australia. Sometimes we kinda pick up some strains they had the previous season.”

Dr. Gene Loper is seeing mostly upper respiratory illnesses in his MEA Clinic in Ridgeland. So far there have been no flu cases at his clinic.

One syringe of flu vaccine is an example of up to 4,000 doses his clinic will dispense this flu season.

He urges citizens to get their flu shot now to avoid contracting and spreading the illness.

Doctors say hand sanitizer is also effective if soap and water are not available.

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