CDC reports this seaon's flu vaccine better than last year

If you're wondering why so many people are still getting the flu the first week of March, you're not alone. Doctors at local care spots in our area say it's unusual around this time and they're expecting at least another 4 weeks of the flu.

"There is not a single day in this office that I don't see someone with the flu," said Doctor Saman Soleymani with Avecina Medical. He  says don't be surprised if you catch the flu in the middle of March. A new report released by the CDC says the season kicked off pretty slowly, but this year's vaccine is working better than in years past.

In fact, it cuts the chance of getting the flu by nearly 60%. Last season's flu shot only reduced flu risk by 20%.

However, even with a lower chance of contracting the virus, the CDC says 13 children have died from flu this season. It can be hard to tell if you have a cold or the flu since the symptoms can mimic each other. But difficulty breathing and a high fever are huge red flags.

"If you have a temperature over 101.5, or that feeling of getting hit by a truck where every muscle and joint hurts in the body- you have the flu," said Dr. Soleymani.

Trust your gut and get to a physician as soon as you can. Doctor Wesley Mills with Mills Primary and Sports Medicine says the steps you take early on can make a huge difference.

"We have rapid diagnostic tests for influenza and if you get checked and your symptoms just started within 48 hours, we can put your on medication that can help speed up or lesson your symptoms," said Dr. Mills.

The CDC notes that it's still not too late to get a flu shot. They're urging you to reduce your risk of getting the flu, especially if you're pregnant or have chronic medical conditions. People over the age of 65 or children under 5 are at a higher risk as well.