Flu cases remain steady locally as number declines in South

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Candice Ford says she and her young children get the flu at least once a year.

Thankfully they haven't had it this year, because she says it's awful.

"You're pretty much all together, sick, laying in the bed together, fever, vomiting, horrible," Ford said. "You just feel like you want to die. It's pretty bad."

Here's the good news: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says flu cases are overall declining in the South. But Emed Primary Care owner Dr. Rene Pulido said his office in Jacksonville is still seeing a pretty steady number of patients who have the flu.

"It's been by far one of our most common diagnoses for the last three weeks to the last month," Pulido said.

So far this flu season, 37 children have died across the nation as a result of the virus, including one in Duval County.

Most people who have died from it were elderly and were suffering from other illnesses, such as pneumonia.

"The twist about the flu is, for most people it's benign, it's three days to a week in bed," Pulido said. "But out of the blue, you hear of perfectly healthy people ending up in the hospital, in the (intensive care unit) with full respiratory failure, and a lot of them unfortunately don't make it back."

That's why those who start having flu-like symptoms should take preventive measures to be healthy.

"There's isn't a medication or vaccine that exists that is better than good hand washing and staying away from people with the flu, and healthy lifestyles," Pulido said.

"We're trying to do what we can to take precautions from getting it, because we do not want to get it," Ford said.

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