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Simple but crucial flu prevention steps

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – New Years Eve has come and gone, and with all the hugging, kissing, and hand shaking, it's easier than ever for germs to spread. 

We're in the thick of flu season and the one thing that has our doctors swamped is a spike in cases of influenza.

The Care Spot on Cesery Boulevard in Duval County reported treating a minimum of five patients a day with the flu. 

In Clay County, at the Care Spot in Middleburg, typically only one or two patients a day are sick with the flu. Over the holiday, at least four to five a day were hit with influenza. One patient who got sick even had their flu shot, according to the center.

Moving up to Nassau County at the Yulee Care Spot, the staff says in one week alone, more than 15 patients checked in with Flu A and B.

In St. Johns County at Avecina Medical, Dr. Soleymani reported all three of his clinics have been busier than ever with the flu.

"We're having patients coming in with very high fevers, body-aches, chills- the typical symptoms of I just got hit by a truck," said Dr. Soleymani.

Flu season usually ramps up around January or February. This year, however, Dr. Soleymani and his staff have been at it since November- treating up to 25 patients each week with flu. That's 50% more than this time last year.

It's a good reminder why the vaccine shouldn't be your only line of defense. Dr. Soleymani reminds people that good hygiene, and proper hand-washing play a big part in staying healthy. 

"You want to spend a good 45 seconds to 60 seconds properly washing all the way up the wrist, going between the fingers, even scrubbing the nails because that's where most of the germs hide.

Although anti-bacterial soaps are helpful, Dr. Soleymani says most studies show that pretty much any soap will get the job done. 

If you'd like more information, you can find Avecina Medical in Julington Creek on Race Track Road, in Oakleaf at Applecross Road, and their newest location on Southside Boulevard, across from Tinseltown. No appointment is necessary and they're open seven days week.