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By Ted Scouten

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Cases of the flu are on the rise in Florida.

Clifton Synder knows all about it.

“I don’t want anybody else to feel like this,” he said while sitting in the doctor’s office. “It’s terrible, it just wipes you out. You’re pretty much helpless.”

His symptoms began last weekend. He felt wiped out.

“Maybe like 40 hours, I’ve been curled up in a fetal position in my bed, I couldn’t move, I couldn’t get out of bed. The muscle soreness, it felt like I got run over,” he said.

And he’s not alone. At the Memorial Urgent Care Center in West Pines they’re seeing a lot of flu cases.

In Florida, nearly all counties are seeing increases.

In all, 452 cases are confirmed statewide, but that number is deceiving since counties are not required to submit those numbers.

“We’re seeing an extraordinary number of flu cases this year,” said Dr. Marc Shapiro from the Memorial Urgent Care Center.

He’s treating a lot of patients lately, many complaining of common flu symptoms like a rapid onset, fever, muscle aches, sometimes congestion or cough, and headache.

“It’s very much more severe,” he said. “I think the average patient knows when they have a cold and they know this feels different.”

The key is getting to the doctor with in 48 hours of the first symptoms so you can get medication, like Tamiflu.

“The Tamiful itself should shorten the duration,” Dr. Shapiro said. “If the average person was going to have this virus syndrome, meaning all those things we said for 7 -10 days, we can hope to shorten it to 3-5 days.”

To avoid getting the flu in the first place, the Florida Department of Health recommends getting vaccinated, frequent hand cleaning, avoiding close contact with anyone who’s sick, disinfecting surfaces and avoiding touching your face.

Clifton hopes he’ll feel better by the weekend.

“I feel like I’m coming out of the woods now,” he said, “and I just want to get back amongst the living.”

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