Doctors encouraging flu shots as flu cases increase across Central Florida

ORLANDO, Fla. — Central Florida doctors are encouraging people to get their flu vaccine after they said flu cases have doubled over the past couple of weeks.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu activity spikes between December and February. But Centra Care Medical Director Dr. Tim Hendrix said cases are increasing now.

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“What we saw was 152 positive flu tests last week at our Florida Centra Cares. And the week before that, I believe it was 72. So roughly about a 100% increase,” Hendrix said.

With that spike at AdventHealth Centra Care facilities, Hendrix continues to stress the importance of getting your flu shot now, especially after we experienced an extremely mild flu season in 2020.

READ: Is it COVID-19, flu, cold or allergies? What is causing you to feel sick this year

“With schools being back in session, mask mandates easing, people relaxing their guard around masking and social distancing, yeah, that’s a perfect environment for influenza to spread, not just COVID-19,” he said.

Hendrix said it’s safe to get your COVID-19 vaccine or COVID-19 vaccine booster shot at the same time as your flu shot.

READ: Tips to help you avoid the flu

“It doesn’t cause any problems,” Hendrix said.

Free flu shots are available now at most local pharmacies.

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Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.