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Mid-South Flu, Pneumonia Cases On The Rise

If you haven't gotten a flu shot yet, it's probably a good idea to get one. The Shelby County Health Department say it has seen an increase in cases in just the last week.
MEMPHIS, TN (localmemphis.com)-- If you've got a fever, aches and chills, you aren't alone. Cases of the flu and pneumonia are on the rise in the Mid-South. 

If you haven't gotten a flu shot yet, it's not too late. The Shelby County Health Department has seen an increases in cases in just the last week.

"We are seeing an uptick in flu cases," says Dr. Michelle Taylor. "It's nothing alarming, nothing at epidemic levels."

But more cases of the flu and pneumonia are going around.

"Sometimes it can go hand in hand, but pneumonia is caused by several other things. If you do get pneumonia as a result of the flu, it could mean you're even sicker and end up being hospitalized.

The health department can't track cases to a certain number. They monitor the virus another way.

"Whether people are buying more cold and flu medicine at the drug store and whether the emergency department is seeing more people with flu like symptoms," Dr. Taylor says.

The H1N1 strain, or swine flu, is going around again this year. But not to worry, if you've gotten a flu shot you're covered.

"That's why it's so important you get the vaccine."

It's still not too late to get your flu shot.

Flu season runs well into March.

"It's definitely not too late. Actually this is the perfect time to get your flu vaccine," Dr. Taylor says.

The virus builds up in your system for two weeks before symptoms start.

"Hand washing is so important. If you feel like you even need to wash your hands for a second just go ahead and do it."

As always, flu shots don't guarantee you won't get sick, but any illness you do have is going to be much less severe.
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