JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - it’s that time of year again to bring out the tissues and hand sanitizer, because flu season is in full swing.
And this year, doctors say their clinics are already packed from people booking their appointments.
“We are already at really high levels nationwide and especially in the South,” said Dr. Darren Scoggin with the Children’s Medical Group.
The flu is spread by direct contact, making it easier than ever to come face-to-face with the virus - especially during the busy holiday season.
“People are in close corners on the plane and in vehicles together, so it’s a big time for things like this to spread,” Dr. Scoggin explained.
According to its most recent flu occurrence data, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed Mississippi as having the highest flu-like activity in the country.
Last year nationwide there were 116 pediatric flu deaths, with one being in Mississippi.
“In Mississippi we are seeing high levels of the flu, specifically in the Jackson-area we are seeing a lot of Flu B,” Dr. Scoggin said.
That’s why doctors say now is the time to take extra safety precautions.
“There are people who die from this. It is preventable and all you have to do is get the vaccine. It is available at doctor’s offices and pharmacies,” said Dr. Tobe Momah with UMMC.
Doctors say the elderly and children are the most vulnerable to the virus, so if you experience any of these symptoms it’s still not too late to take action.
“If someone does have the flu, if they get treated early enough, you could get well quicker and be back around others faster,” Dr. Scoggin said.