CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Doctors with Atrium Health are expecting to see an increase in flu cases to begin 2019.
“Families get together and you have that mixing of germs, so we certainly tend to see flu cases increase right after the holidays,” said Dr. Chris Branner, the Specialty Medical Director of Urgent Care for Atrium Health. “This is the time, this week and the next couple where we will see a dramatic increase in cases.”
So far, the flu season has been milder than years past. South Carolina is currently in a high flu stage and North Carolina is in a moderate stage. This flu season, South Carolina has reported 11 flu-related deaths and North Carolina has reported 10.
“We know that flu is going to try and adapt and change,” said Dr. Branner.
Dr. Branner says the safest thing to do is still to get the flu vaccine, even if it is not 100% effective.
“So, if I develop a vaccine for a red flu, but the flu actually ends up being pink, then I get a slight mismatch,” said Dr. Branner.
He also says now is the time for parents to be proactive with their children.
“Kids are the number one vector in spreading the flu around our communities,” said Dr. Branner. “Work with your teachers and your coaches to make smart decisions to keep your kids and other kids safe.”
January and February, typically, are the months with the most cases so the hospitals and urgent care facilities will make changes.
“The hospital will declare flu season which will restrict visitors. We will have protocols in place for people with flu symptoms to wear masks to protect themselves and others,”