TUPELO, Miss (WTVA) – The flu has reached peak season with many clinics in Tupelo seeing an increase in patients including MedPlus at Barnes Crossing.
“We have seen a lot of flu cases this year. Starting from October and it has pretty much increased day by day,” said Nurse Practitioner Bethany Cummings.
In fact, Cummings says MedPlus has seen more than 200 patients just this Christmas week.
“On Christmas Eve we saw around 64 or 65 patients. The 27th we saw 74 patients, another provider and myself. I would say over half of them had the flu,” said Cummings.
The Centers for Disease Control has been monitoring the uptick in flu cases. Cummings says if you don’t want to become a statistic, here’s what you do to protect yourself.
“GermX, hand washing using soap and water as often as you can,” said Cummings.
She also recommends getting a flu shot although the CDC says this year’s vaccine is only 10 percent effective.
”Even for that 10 percent it’s worth it. The flu is bad this year so I would take that 10 percent,” said Cummings.
Some people in Tupelo we spoke with agree that the flu vaccine is the best protection.
“I encourage vaccinations. I am a firm believer in vaccinations,” said Angela Cook.
While others say they have braved the elements without a flu shot.
“I never got a flu shot. I don’t believe in them because if you inject me with the flu, I am going to get a cold and I haven’t caught a cold in 10 or 15 years,” said Garrett Thompson III.
If you do get flu-like symptoms, health officials say the best thing to do is stay home to avoid infecting others.