You know the symptoms very well -coughing, sneezing, high fever - but are you prepared to deal with the affects of the flu? Health officials say with numbers trending upwards, now is a great time to guard against the highly contagious virus.
Google's Flu Trends (http://www.google.org/flutrends/intl/en_us/us/#US) shows that Florida is now in the intense activity category and it has it's sights set on the panhandle. Sandon Speedling with the Bay County Health Department says flu cases are migrating from Central Florida up to the panhandle.
Speedling says Bay County has been relatively mild compared to other areas in terms of flu activity, but they are starting to see cases increase as people from the northern states make their way into the state.
"People that are coming into Florida, sometimes the snowbirds that relocate from Canada, and people that are traveling bring in the flu with them when they come to Panama City," Speedling said.
Right now education is their number one priority, as they try to stress the importance of flu care and prevention.
Speedling says a flu shot is the best place to start when it comes to prevention. The health department only has about 100 doses left, but you can check your doctor or even local pharmacies for the vaccination.
If you do happen to fall the flu, there are some things you can to make sure you don't affect others. Health officials suggest you take precautions like washing your hands, sneezing into your elbow, and staying away from work when you're sick.
Speedling says despite cases being on the rise here and throughout the southeast, the numbers this year here in Bay county seem to be on track with the numbers this time last year.