Doctors and Parents React to Early, Strong Flu Season

By: Jessica Cunnington Email
By: Jessica Cunnington Email

January 9, 2012

Martha Jefferson Hospital recommends visitors, patients and staff to wear masks to help stop the spreading of the flu. Parents are concerned and are trying to make sure their family makes it through this year's flu season.

It's the biggest flu outbreak doctors at Martha Jefferson have seen in a decade. This season's peak began around Thanksgiving which is very early and it's still hitting strong in Virginia.

"I just left choir practice, our numbers were down 50% and again those are our adults who are a lot more responsible with their own health but just because I think it's just rampant in their air or whatever," said Tina Smith, a Charlottesville resident.

"We're seeing staff, we have staff who have family members who have flu, and we see patients and visitors coming in who have flu so we know it's here in the community," said Dr. Keri Hall, an infectious disease physician at Martha Jefferson Hospital.

And this has parents concerned as they're hearing higher numbers than ever before and send their children back to school, they are hoping for the best.

Our boys are twins and if one of us gets it, it's almost guaranteed that it'll go through the entire family. So, if we can avoid it on the front end that's great," said John Healy of Albemarle County. He said his wife was the one who talked him into getting a flu shot this year.

Some parents say even with a flu shot, it's the time of year to remind their kids over and over again of the basics.

"As a grandmother of a 10-year-old in the city school system constantly, what we were just talking about, washing your hands, making sure you're coughing into your elbow and sneezing and just being really aware about what's going on around you," Smith said.

Doctors say you cannot wash your hands enough this flu season and there's no telling when it will end this year.


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