Doctors say plenty of flu cases still lingering for Arkansas

Flu season still lingering into March

SHERWOOD, Ark. (KTHV) -- Flu season should be winding down, but central Arkansas doctors tell THV11 they're still seeing plenty of cases.

But, it gets worse. 

Some doctors have said they've seen more cases in just the past couple weeks than they've seen all season. A recent spike in flu cases has doctors reminding those in central Arkansas that it's not too late to get your flu shot.

Flu is usually a wintertime virus, peaking in January or February. But this year, Dr. Devon Ballard at Sherwood Family Medical Center said flu cases are on the rise in Arkansas, even though it's March.

"About two weeks ago hit pretty hard kind of out of the blue, it was like it wasn't here and it was here," said Dr. Ballard.

Dr. Ballard said he saw 15 to 20 cases last week. The Arkansas Department of Health reported "widespread" flu activity around the state.

"Flu will hit you like a grenade.  Literally you'll feel, let's say you wake up tomorrow morning at 8 o'clock you're getting ready for work and then by 12 o'clock you feel like your muscles ache, fever, chills, sweats.  Acute on-set within usually 6-12 hours.  Feel like you got ran over or ran a marathon," said Dr. Ballard.

Doctors said the best way to protect yourself is by getting the shot.

"I'd still get one.  If the availability to get a flu shot still get it, because there's still going to be some exposure," said Dr. Ballard.

The flu vaccine takes up to two weeks to begin working fully. Dr. Ballard said if you do feel flu-like symptoms, including a fever or sore throat, it's important to act fast.

"If you had the flu shot you can still get the flu, so I'd say 5-7 days without the flu shot 10-14 days," he said.

Dr. Ballard said it's a complete myth if you've been told that the flu shot can give you the flu.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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