Santa Rosa County sees spike in flu cases

Santa Rosa County sees spike in flu cases

Medical professionals in Northwest Florida say the flu season is here and it has come on strong in the past few weeks. Nurse practitioners at the Santa Rosa County Medical Group said this is the busiest their clinic has been this flu season.

"We would see one here and there since October, but in the last three weeks we've had positive flu tests every day," Casey Schneider said.

Schneider said most of the cases coming in are children with the flu.

"Saturday there were three patients - and the other day - seven who had the flu so flu season is definitely kicking off," she said.

Schneider said it is important to remind kids to wash their hands, send them to school with hand sanitizer, and keep them home if they are sick. It is also not too late for the flu shot and Schneider is encouraging it.

"The biggest way to fight the flu is to prevent the flu," she said.

She wants to bust the myth about the vaccination.

"You may have a little bit of a low-grade fever, but that's your body's immune response to the shot, building up antibodies. Usually that only lasts for 24 hours if you get it at all, but you cannot get the flu from the flu shot,” she said.

She believes this temporary discomfort beats the alternative.

"It can last up to two weeks and if there are complications from the flu that can linger even longer. The 24 hours of maybe low-grade fever and achiness would be much preferable than the actual flu,” she said.

Pharmacist Steve Burklow says things are picking up here at Pace Pharmacy.

"I’d say in the past three, four, five days the Tamiflu is really starting to pick up a lot,” he said.

He says people are picking up Tamiflu and visiting this medicine aisle in an effort to stop the flu symptoms.

If you're interested in getting the flu vaccination, the Santa Rosa County Medical Group, Family Practice clinic in Pace is offering the shot for just $20. CVS Pharmacy and Walgreens also offers the flu shot.

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