Even people with vaccinations are susceptible as flu cases increase

Flu season is here and the viral disease is on the increase in Taft.

Even worse, the flu vaccination that normally protects people isn't as effective this year as it has been.

Local physicians and the West Side Family Health Care Center are treating flu patients.

"We have seen an increase in the number of flu cases in the past week," said Dr. Vibul Tangpraphaphorn.

So far, one case has resulted in hospitalization, he said.

The urgent care has seen about 10 cases, said Dr. Nancy Ferrel.

When the flu hits, it hits hard and fast, Tang said.

"The fever starts really quite quickly," he said. "You get very sick very fast."

Tang said it's important to get to the doctor quickly when you get the severe symptoms of the flu -- a high fever, very sore throat, coughing and body ache.

"The sooner they get in when they see the symptoms the better," he said "There are medicines that can shorten the course of the flu."

Ferrel said people should immediately seek medical care with a sustained high fever of 102 or more than 100.4 in children. When your symptoms don't get better or worsen after 3 days, if you develop an extremely high fever, wheezing or shortness of breath.

If your symptoms aren't too severe, you can treat yourself with warm showers to relieve congestion, taking over-the-counter cold and cough medicines and drinking plenty of fluids, Ferrel said.

Even people who get their flu vaccinations aren't immune this year.
The vaccine being given is only about 30 percent effective, the Centers for Disease Control said last month.

Tang agreed.

"The best thing is to always get a flu shot, but this year the effectiveness is just very low," he said Wednesday.