The flu season has come early this year, and experts say it is going to be a bad one. New York declared a public health emergency on Tuesday after almost 20,000 confirmed cases. To date, two children in New York State and eighteen children across the United States have died as a result of this year’s seasonal influenza, reports the New York State Department of Health (DOH).
San Diego has reported approximately 300 cases last week and double that have been reported this week, with 6 deaths from influenza reported in San Diego County on Friday, reports the LA Times.
Health officials stated that the cold weather has helped spread the flu across San Diego rapidly.
"The cold, dry, air allows it to get air life and survive longer," said Dr. Christian Tomaszewski, a professor with UC San Diego's Department of Emergency Medicine during an interview with KPBS.
This week there are twice as many reports of flu than there was last year, and authorities say it has yet reached its peak. Although the flu strain is not the worse ever seen, it is a bad one.
"I think everyone should get vaccination not only do we need to take care of ourselves, we need to keep this virus from spreading," said Tomaszewski.
With everyone getting a flu vaccination, San Diego has a chance of keeping the flu from becoming as wide-spread as in New York.
Although there is the belief that you can get the flu from a shot, Dr. Tomaszewski explains that it is just a myth.
"If you're going to give a hundred million flu shots like the number of people who have gotten the flu shot, somebody is going to get sick at the same time they got the flu shot, and because of magical thinking they're going to think the flu shot caused it, when in fact it is the opposite," said Dr. Tomaszewski. "You might have a mild allergic type response but you're not going to get the flu from the flu shot and you're not going to get sick from it...because the virus is not live you cannot get sick from the shot."
If you have the flu you are urged to stay home so as not to spread it. Most can take care of themselves by staying in bed and drinking plenty of fluid but if you have a coexisting illness, your pregnant or older, or illness of the heart or lung you should contact your doctor and let them know you are coming down with the flu.
You do not need to go to the emergency unless you are having warning signs of the flu like, chest pain, trouble breathing, abdominal pain and you can't keep up with your fluid intact.