First case of flu reported in Mid-South - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

First case of flu reported in Mid-South

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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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DOWNTOWN MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

Some things in life are always a sure thing, taxes, death.

But every year, most people prefer to take a gamble on whether they're going to get the flu. Even if, there is a somewhat sure thing, as in a flu shot.

A confirmed case of influenza has surfaced in the Mid-South. Doctor are sending a warning that people need to get vaccinated.

People on the street had their own feelings,

"I had it once and it made me sick, so I just haven't gone back and gotten another one."

MORE: Centers for Disease Control Seasonal Influenza information

"I very rarely get sick anyway, so I might take my kids. I'll take my kids."

"I've never had one and I don't seem to get the flu so I guess I'm lucky."

Le Bonheur Children's Hospital Pediatric Infectious Disease Dr. Jon McCullers said as the temperature begins to drop, he believes he will see more activity of children getting flu shots.

"My gut says its time to have a new strain come in this year, we've kind of had the same strain for a couple of years, very minor modifications to the vaccine this year," Dr. McCullers said. "I think as it starts to get cold we'll start to see more activity."

Dr. McCullers added that with the first case of the influenza in the Mid-South, there's no telling how severe this flu season will be as compared to last year.

"Our emergency department was seeing 30-35 kids a day with influenza," he said. "We're admitting three to four kids a day. We pretty much kept the hospital and ER full doing that."

Dr. McCullers said there are several myths surrounding getting the flu vaccine including, such as if a person gets the flu vaccine does that mean they will get the flu?

"It's actually a very safe vaccine," he said. "About a third of people will have some arm soreness for a few days. Maybe a very few people will have some kind of generalized muscle ache."

Influenza is the virus which causes the flu, Dr. McCullers said. "There are four major strains of the virus which circulate every year. A flu mist vaccine protects most people between 2 and 49 in good health, but if not get the shot.

Prevention is simply wash hands or use a sanitizer and sneeze or cough into your sleeve. Dr. McCullers said there is no need to take a chance when the shot or mist is a sure thing.

"It takes two to three weeks for the vaccine to have its best effect," he said. "So it can be too late if we already have the virus in the community, so get the vaccine now. There is plenty of supply. The best time to do it is now."

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