You’re 200 percent more likely to get the flu this year than last, and 400 percent more likely to get it than you were two years ago.
At the same time, a national IV bag shortage could leave hospitals scrambling to treat all those patients.
Tampa Bay area walk-in clinics are slammed with patients like Adalyn Fryberger and her mom Christi. Christi just found out on Monday that she’s the latest victim of the flu.
“I can’t believe it. I don’t think I’ve ever had the flu before,” she said while holding a flu diagnosis from a Bay Care Convenient Care location in St. Petersburg.
Robby Flanagan is coming down with the flu, too.
“It’s definitely frustrating. I don’t ever like to not feel good so anytime I can avoid it that’s the course I prefer to take,” he explained.
Avoiding the flu this year is harder than ever. The cold weather helped the virus fester, as we all stayed inside. The flu vaccine is only 10 percent effective this year, although Tampa General Hospital Nurse Nancy Epps says it’s still best to get one.
“It’s better than nothing and it really is the only prevention that’s out there.”
Nearly every hospital in Tampa Bay is dealing with a big spike in patients. The Florida Hospital Group is seeing triple the amount of flu patients at their Tampa Hospital compared to this time last year. Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital and the Largo Medical Center have also seen a spike in the number of flu cases.
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- Ezra McMullin is a content and social media producer at MSGPR and attends Angelina College. He unwinds after a long day by playing XBox, telling himself he'll just play one more level before bed.