Flu season in Southwest Florida is in full swing, early

Reporter: Nicole Gabe
Published: Updated:
Photo by CDC / Judy Schmidt

The increase in reported flu cases in Lee County is nearly ten-fold compared to this time last year.

Lee Health reported seeing 145 flu cases last week. Last year, for the same week, they treated only 15 patients for the virus.

These new numbers are a grim outlook for the rest of the flu season. With flu season ‘heating up,’ some people aren’t taking any chances.

At Cypress Pharmacy in Fort Myers, the manager says they give 10 to 20 flu shots a day.

Brenda Kelley, senior infection preventionist at Gulf Coast Medical Center, says, “We can with confidence say that it is a higher flu season this time, this year as opposed to the same time last year, we are seeing higher numbers.”

She says every flu season brings its challenges, “we can’t predict from season to season, how severe the flu is going to be, so there’s always measures that should be taken regardless of what you think is going to happen in the season.”

There are several over the counter drugs that pharmacies say will help with your symptoms
But it won’t help you get over the flu

Tj Depaola, with  Cypress Pharmacy, says, “something as simple as DayQuil, NyQuil; they make Theraflu which they say is to just to treat flu symptoms … by prescription, you have about a 72-hour window to catch it and that would be Tamiflu.”

While each flu season varies, medical professionals agree prevention is key.

“You need to get the flu shot. The more you can be on defense, the better,” Depaola added.

All so you can protect yourself and your loved ones. And it’s not too late to get a shot.

A pharmacist told WINK News they see people coming in through February, but they recommend getting it as soon as you can.

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