TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA)—Saturday marks the first day of October, but one doctor in Tampa has already treated cases of the flu.
“I’ve had several patients test positive for it, so it’s here! Get the vaccine as soon as you can,” Dr. Lisa Rodriguez of Tampa General Hospital/USF Health said.
In years past, people could avoid getting a shot and protect themselves from the flu with a nasal mist, but this year, health officials are advising that it is imperative to get a flu shot.
“The flu mist, which a lot of families often opt for, is not effective against the strains that we are anticipating. The shot has been updated for this season and hopefully, will be very effective,” said Dr. Rodriguez.
According to the CDC, the flu shot reduces the risk of catching the flu by 50-60 percent, something that’s especially important living here in Florida.
“In the southern states…some of these viruses that we think of as winter viruses, have a much longer period that they are around,” said Dr. Rodriguez.
The CDC recommends anyone 6 months and older to get an annual flu shot.