Flu cases on the rise in Orange County

Flu season hasn’t officially started yet, but doctors are already seeing lots of cases.

CentraCare Health reported 52 cases last week, compared to 26 the week before.

Doctors are urging people to get a flu shot.

CentraCare Health is Central Florida’s largest provider of urgent care services, and in recent weeks, its clinics have seen a notable uptick in flu cases.

Flu season is officially still a month away, but Dr. Timothy Hendrix said last week, the number of confirmed flu cases at CentraCare doubled, jumping from 26 to 52.

“You can’t tell if this is a blip in the flu cases coming in, or if this is the start of the season. It’s just too early to tell,” Hendrix said.

The flu shot for the 2018-2019 flu season is now available, and doctors hope people will heed the warning to get one despite the fact that last year’s flu shot was not as effective as hoped.

“The shot you had last year didn’t work great. They found there was a change in virus. That’s probably why we saw so many sick people,” Hendrix said.

Last year’s flu season was the worst in years, and some medical experts believe the coming season may be even worse.

The CDC said it has made some changes for the coming year.

The CDC said flu vaccines have been updated to better match circulating viruses; that the nasal spray vaccine is once again being recommended for those who need an alternative to a shot; and experts recommend that people get their shots by the end of October.

In addition to the flu, Hendrix said there is also a rise in upper respiratory illnesses.

Many people often wonder how to tell the difference between the flu and a common cold. Hendrix said if it’s the flu, the symptoms will include body aches and no desire to get out of bed.