Flu Reports Double This Year Compared To 2016

CENTERTON (KFSM) -- Flu season is in full swing and the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports flu cases double this year compared to 2016.

The report warns flu vaccines may only be 10% effective.

“I`m not sure where they are getting that report. I called an infectious disease doctor and he doesn`t know where that report is coming from. It doesn`t look like it`s substantiated yet, and it's too early in the season to even come up with that,” Family Physician Doctor Randy Conover, said.

Conover said he has seen between 50 and 100 cases of the flu so far this season with the first being in September.

He also said flu patients he`s seen have been unvaccinated and that number is similar to 2016.

Conover explained the virus can be passed even a day before symptoms are felt. He said it`s important to always wash your hands.

“You can`t protect yourself from every germ but if you cannot touch your face then you can keep the germs from entering your nose, your mouth and eyes and things like that and let your skin be a good barrier,” he said.

Heather Chamberlin got the flu vaccine during October just like she does every year. She also works in the medical field and see firsthand how bad it can be.

“I don`t want to risk getting it myself because as far as what I`ve seen them go through it`s a pretty bad deal and I don`t want to feel like that, let alone bring it home to my kids or my family,” Chamberlin said.

The Arkansas Department of Health said as of the end of November there have been close to 200 confirmed cases of the flu since October.

Flu season can sometimes not end until April, so if you haven`t gotten your flu shot, health officials say you shouldn't put it off any longer.