Flu hits Hartselle hard

It is not too late to get a flu shot.
It is not too late to get a flu shot.

HARTSELLE, AL (WAFF) - Hartselle native, Doug Cowart, said a couple of days with body aches and fever forced him to see the doctor at Hartselle Urgent Care.

"I got it to break Wednesday night, but then got up Thursday morning feeling the same way, laid in bed all day yesterday hoping it would break, go down, " he said. "Got up this morning feeling the same way, so I couldn't take it no more - decided to come in."

While Cowart's test was negative for flu, he had many of the symptoms and was given medication.

While the statistics from the CDC said that a lot of people are getting the flu nationwide, it's also hitting pretty hard locally.

Dr. Neil Yeager is a family practice physician at the facility.

"Starting in about September we started seeing the flu and since that time, it has been rampant. There are many, many, many cases sometimes up to 30 cases a day," said Yeager.

He said the numbers dipped at the beginning of December, but cases are up again. That includes people who have had a flu shot.

"We have many people who've had a Flu shot and been vaccinated and are still contracting the flu. I'd say, roughly it's about 30 percent of the positive cases, people have been vaccinated, so I think we've done a good job educating people on getting their vaccinations, but unfortunately some of those folks have still contracted the flu," he said.

Yeager said theirs is a much milder version of influenza, with less severe symptoms and a shorter time with the virus.

He said it's not too late to get a shot, and it will help.

Meanwhile, there are some tips to help you avoid the flu.

"…A lot of hand washing. I think it's a good idea to keep a little bottle of antiseptic so when you're out and about at restaurants or the grocery store, shopping," added Yeager.

And he said try to avoid people who are already sick.

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