News

Actions

Are you ready for the flu? CDC expects activity to increase in the coming weeks

Posted at 6:26 PM, Oct 23, 2014

Right now, flu activity is low across the country. But, the Centers for Disease Control expects that to change in the coming weeks.

Still, a third of the people NewsChannel 3 talked to say they won't be getting a flu shot.

"I was in the military and that was the last shot I got. It was in 2005,” Brandon Campbell said.

Richard Corbin added, “I've never been vaccinated before I just take Echinacea and vitamins like Vitamin C.”

Doctors say taking vitamins or herbal supplements can help but won't make you immune.

Last month, NewsChannel 3 told you about the early jump in flu cases on the Eastern Shore where 48 people tested positive in a one-week period.

In Virginia Beach, a doctor at the Patient First on Indian River Road says things have been quiet.

"This is actually a little bit like the calm before the storm but more likely a good preparatory time," Dr. Randy Villarreal said.

It’s a good preparatory time because things can change very quickly.

Just take a look at what happened last flu season. According to the CDC, Virginia was one of 15 states that jumped to a widespread status in the last week of December. And that was before the peak of the season even hit in February.

How exactly the Commonwealth will be affected by the flu this year is unknown. But if the Farmer’s Almanac is correct and Virginia experiences a colder, wetter winter it could be a rough year.

"If it's colder, there's more opportunity for immune systems to come down, a little more opportunity for viruses to become a little more widespread," Dr. Villarreal explained.

This year, Dr. Villarreal believes the Ebola scare may even be distracting some people from the real threat.

"Perhaps we do need to remind people that the flu shot is more available closer to home, most likely it's going to be big and most likely what we're going to see around here,” Dr. Villarreal said.