North Carolina's Flu Season Starts Early, Spreads Fast
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Everywhere you go, someone is coughing, sniffling, or sneezing. North Carolina has had a horrible flu season. So far, 12 deaths, and hundreds seeking treatment each week.
Kevin Sherrill came in with aches and pains, and a headache that just wouldn't go away. "Rundown, that's about it," he says. "And a horrible headache."
This year's flu has been spreading rapidly, especially around the holidays, with people traveling to visit family.
"We just got back from Connecticut," says Sherrill. "So I started feeling bad yesterday afternoon."
Concentra Urgent Care on South Boulevard has seen at least 20 people a day with flu-like symptoms in the past few weeks. "Really for the flu: aches--that deep body ache--and a fever," says Dr. Stacey Gouzenne. "You can get a fever with a cold, but with the flu you're much more feverish."
This flu season has started much earlier than previous years, and so far it is the worst flu season in a decade. When you walk into urgent care, and if you have flu-like symptoms, you're handed a mask so you don't spread germs in the lobby.
"When you have the flu," continues Dr. Gouzenne, "you don't want to eat anything. You feel terrible, and like you've been hit by a truck."
Sherrill lucked out... his flu test results came back negative, but doctors say he could still get the flu in the next few weeks. The best way to prevent the flu is to wash your hands constantly. Then, if you feel like you have symptoms, get a flu test before it spreads to someone else.