Health officials urge young adults to get flu shot



ORLANDO, Fla. - Health officials in Orange County said they are seeing a rise in flu cases and some of the people getting the sickest are young, in their 20s and 30s.

Many people who fall into that age group are often those who feel most comfortable not getting the flu shot.

"Runny nose, my head's just congested beyond belief," lamented flu patient Dan Tye.

Tye never gets a flu shot and rarely gets sick. But he said he woke up Tuesday feeling so bad it was a struggle just to get out of bed. He dragged himself to a clinic where doctors confirmed he has got the flu.

"I don't normally get it, it's been brutal," said Tye. "I woke up with a 101 [degree] fever. My body just feels like it was hit by a truck."

Officials at the Florida Department of Health in Orange County said they do not know exactly how many people have the flu, but cases are increasing and most concerning to doctors is that the people getting sick are getting very sick.

"It is a nasty flu going around," said Dain Weister, FDHOC spokesman.

Already one woman has died in Brevard and another in Pasco County. Both were in their 30s.

"Those folks who are having complications and having a tougher time with it are younger folks, those who have not been exposed to this before," said Weister.

Flu season is well underway, but it is far from over. Doctors said with people in their teens, 20s and 30s getting sick, even dying, the best advice is this: if you haven't gotten a flu shot, get one now.

Meanwhile, health officials are continuing to battle the flu in Brevard County.

So far this flu season three people with the illness have been put on life support, including a pregnant woman.

Earlier this month a woman in her 30s died from a flu-related illness.

Health officials said she had not received a flu shot, which officials said also protects people from H1N1, a potent strain of the flu.