HOLLYWOOD (CBSMiami) – Health experts say the state’s flu season is just getting started. Broward Health officials, on Wednesday, received reports of two flu-related deaths.

One of the deaths was at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood and the other at a University Hospital in Tamarac. Both patients, according to the Broward Health Department, were over the age of 18.

“This year we haven’t seen the peak yet, I think this is just the beginning as far as the incidence and prevalence of flu,” said Dr. Nabil El Sanadi, Chief Medical Officer of Emergency at Broward Health.

So far flu season in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, and all across Florida, have been mild compared to other states where it is widespread. Twenty children, according to the Centers for Disease Control, have died nationwide as of January 11.

“The very old and the very young people that are infirm and immuno-compromised are more vulnerable to have flu and flu complications,” said Dr. El Sanadi.

April Allen, a Hollywood resident, says she’s noticed a spike in sneezing and sniffling at her office.

“I’m hearing coughs and I get a little nervous,” said Allen. “Basically I just stay in my cubicle and try not to come out.. I’m lysoling, I’m spraying, I’m wiping down.”

Symptoms of the flu include: fever, cough, sore throat, muscle aches, headaches, fatigue and vomiting.

“I’m very terrified of it but I try to be as cautious as possible,” said Nyamekye Daniel who tries to teach her daughter to fight the flu.

“She tells me don’t touch things so I won’t catch a cold, people have germs and they don’t wash their hands,” said her 8-year-old Nyla Daniel.

The CDC recommends that everyone six months of age or older should get vaccinated against the flu. This year’s vaccine has performed well in those who took it. The CDC also said to take precautions like washing your hands to help protect against the flu.

If you are exposed to the flu, talk to the doctor about preventive antiviral medications.

“If they feel like they can not control their symptoms with over the counter medications to lower their temperature and relieve the body aches, if it lasts more than 24 to 48 hours and if it looks like it’s getting worse, than they should seek medical attention,” said Dr. El Sanadi.

According to Google Flu Trends, this year’s flu season hasn’t reached the level it was last year, but January was the peak month of cases last year.


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