Flu Outbreak - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Flu Outbreak

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The party hats are off and people around the country are getting settled into the swing of 2014.

But with a new year comes the flu season and this year is expected to pack a harder punch filled with fevers, body aches, and chills.

Haung says: "About 8% of the outpatient visits have been related to influenza like illness."

Doctors say H1N1 is the most prevalent strain that will make you sick this year. That's the same strain that caused the 2009 swine flu pandemic."

Pierce says: "There is H1N1 in every vaccine available this year so you should be protected if you get vaccinated from the flu strain we're seeing right now."

The CDC reporting widespread flu outbreaks mainly in the northeast in states such as New York, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, but plenty of cases have been reported in the south.

With high numbers of hospitalizations already, doctors say, the worst is yet to come.

Tobleman says: "Typically the flu season doesn't peak until late January early February."

It's not too late to get yourself vaccinated, which is the number one suggestion for flu prevention.

Tobleman says: "Every healthcare provider typically will have the flu shot but there is some availability so call before you go."

To lower our risk of contracting the virus uses good hygienic practices, such as, washing your hands or covering your mouth when you cough.

Grossman says: "Avoiding people who are sick, in areas where you know someone is sick, you don't want to put yourself there because that's how the virus spreads."

Doctors say young children and those ages 30 to 50 are most at risk. Pharmacies so far are reporting full supplies of the vaccine.

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