Early surge in flu cases ‘high’ in Mississippi. Doctors fear worst season in 13 years.

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Flu has come early this year and is now at a high level in Mississippi — a concerning statistic for many healthcare providers who fear that this current flu season could the worst in 13 years.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mississippi is among 11 states with a surge in flu cases.

This season, there have already been at least 880,000 cases of influenza illness, 6,900 hospitalizations and 360 flu-related deaths nationally, including one child, according to estimates released Friday by the CDC.

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Patients are swamping area urgent care clinics and pediatrician office with high fevers, runny noses, coughs, vomiting, and diarrhea.

The surge in cases is about six-weeks earlier than usual and is why local medical providers are urging local families to roll up their sleeves and get a flu shot  as soon as possible, as it takes the shot two weeks to take full effect

Recent data by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) reveals only half of the U.S. adults they surveyed plan to get a flu shot this season.

Mask mandates, stay-at-home measures, and social distancing brought on during the COVID 19 pandemic kept flu exposure down. Reduced exposure means our antibody levels have dropped which lowers our immunity against the virus.

Now that most restrictions have been lifted across the country – it’s a perfect set-up for increased transmission. And a potential double whammy – people could get flu and COVID at the same time.

The local flu fighters at American Family Care (AFC) are stressing to patients to get vaccinated sooner than later, since it takes two weeks for a flu shot to take full effect.

Consider AFC’s FIVE FACTS to get a Flu Shot Now:  

  1. It’s a matter of life or death.  A flu shot, recommended for anyone 6 months of older, can not only protects you from getting the flu , it prevents you from dying of the flu related illnesses.
  1. Flu is a fast spreader.  Most experts think flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when someone with flu coughs, sneezes, or talks. They can infect you from six feet away… just like COVID-19!
  1. All ages may fall under “high-risk”.   Children under the age of 6, pregnant women and adults 65 or older are at high risk for serious flu complications like inflammation of the heart, brain or muscle tissues or multi-organ failure.
  1. Symptoms not required for positive case.   People can carry the virus and risk exposing others when they show little symptoms.
  1. Tripledemic Concerns.   With the anticipated resurgence of the flu combined with skyrocketing RSV cases plus the vexing string of Covid-19 variants, health experts are also concerned about the possibility of a “tripledemic”.   AFC providers say it is safe to get a flu vaccine and a Covid-19 vaccine or booster at the same time.