HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The United States is currently at the height of flu season. The flu "epidemic" over the past two weeks has scared some, but doctors are saying there is nothing to be worried about.
"It's been a pretty standard season for us. We've seen more positive tests in the last two weeks than we have seen earlier in the season, but we are in the height of the flu season right now," said Dr. Judd Reynolds D.O. with the Hattiesburg Clinic.
A flu shot is the most effective way to prevent the flu, but it is possible to catch the virus.
"Sometimes those strains that come through are not the ones covered by the flu vaccine formulated by the Mississippi Department of Health and other places in the U.S., when they're formulating flu vaccines," Reynolds said.
Other steps of prevention can help prevent the spread of the flu. Steps for preventing the flu include standard tips like washing your hands, but it is also important to make sure to distant yourself from those who appear to be sick.
"If they're coughing and you're breathing in the air, you're being exposed to this as well," Reynolds said.
If you cannot avoid others around you with the flu, it is still very important to get a flu shot.
"We recommend that people get their flu vaccine every year unless they have some reason that they can't," Reynolds said.
The flu may be common, but if untreated in some people, it can lead to other health issues. It can even be deadly. In January, the Mississippi Department of Health reported one pediatric death due to the flu.
"Even young healthy people in their teenager years and early adulthood, who don't have medical problems, can get pneumonia from the flu, and you can die from it," Reynolds said.