Health warning about flu-related pneumonia

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Flu season is in full swing and while doctors are seeing widespread activity in Florida, some hospitals are seeing an uptick in another potentially life-threatening illness- pneumonia.

The number of flu cases statewide may be down compared to last year, but pneumonia is one of the big concerns with the flu.

When it strikes, pneumonia can be very dangerous, said doctors at UF health- especially for people with compromised immune systems, kids under the age of 2, or adults 65 and over. It’s a lung infection, and can lead to breathing problems or a cough. Several cases of pneumonia have been reported to the Health Department in Jacksonville and Baptist Health. Doctors confirm some of these pneumonia cases began with the flu. 

UF Health Jacksonville has seen a bump in flu numbers. It's doctors say that when you have the flu, it can make it hard for your body to fight back. That can lead to pneumonia.

Treating illnesses, including the flu, before they turn into pneumonia is key.

The best method for avoiding flu-related pneumonia, according to health experts is to get the flu shot. 

While some pneumonia cases are mild, others can be deadly. One way to protect yourself from pneumonia is to get the vaccine for it. As always, you should talk to your doctor to determine if it’s the right move for you. 

If you might already have the flu and are concerned about pneumonia,  the Florida Department of Health says you should not go to work or school if you feel sick. Most people who get the flu will recover without seeing a doctor, but, if you have a high temperature for more than a few days or if your symptoms get worse, call your health care provider right away.

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