Cases of the flu and strep throat are on the rise in Northwest Florida

ESCAMBIA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — Health experts in Northwest Florida say flu season has started early this year, with cases increasing and patients’ symptoms becoming more severe.

Because of these trends, experts at Community Health Northwest Florida recommend getting a flu shot as early as possible.

“It can take up to two to three weeks for you to become immune to the flu shot, so the sooner you can get it, the more protection you’ll have as the season progresses,” said Dr. Joseph Klawiter.

According to the Florida Department of Health, flu cases are on the rise in Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties.

Dr. Klawiter said they are seeing both flu cases and strep cases in children specifically.

Experts say the best way to protect yourself is to get vaccinated, wash your hands and avoid large crowds.

Among the recommended vaccinations is the COVID vaccine, even with declining numbers of COVID.

“On their own, COVID, RSV and influenza can be quite serious. But if you can have a combination of them, it’s even worse, so anything you can do to protect yourself is what we recommend,” Dr. Klawiter said.

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