Flu Season Arrives Early

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Chattanooga, Tenn. (WDEF)- If you think flu season seems much worse this year, you’re not alone.

Erlanger Hospital reported a significant spike in flu like illness during the first week in December compared to last year.

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“If you are ill whether you know it’s the flu or not. If you’re having a fever with any other illness that you may have. Go to your doctor please. Don’t go to the grocery store. Don’t go to the mall.”

Sharon Goforth, a registered nurse at the Chattanooga- Hamilton County Health Department says not getting a flu shot can be costly.

“You can be very sick for several days. You can be out from work for a week or longer. For some people depending on their health status to begin with they may be hospitalized. It can even lead to death for some people.”

Although it is possible to get the flu with the vaccine, Goforth says it can still prevent greater symptoms than someone who doesn’t hasn’t received he shot.

“It’s not 100 percent and we don’t present it as if it’s 100 percent. But it is still your best insurance of not getting the flu and even if you do it certainly makes your symptoms less severe. And it usually doesn’t last as long for you if you’ve gotten the vaccine.”

Despite the warning from health officials, some people still refuse to get the vaccine.

“A lot of people that I’m familiar with do not want to put foreign substances in their body and that’s exactly why they refuse or choose not to get the flu shot.”, says a local parent who is also a health professional.