Early cases of flu reported here

Published 12:36 am Thursday, September 13, 2018

Pediatrician says illness seems to be hitting toddlers most

Local health officials say they are already seeing cases of the flu, especially in the very young.

“I started seeing influenza A about four to five weeks ago,” local pediatrician Dr. Gabrielle Baldwin said. “We’ve only seen a handful of school age kids. It is primarily in 1 to 2-year-olds so far.”

Local pharmacist David Darby said he has seen several confirmed cases, and has four employees whose children have already had the flu.

“It’s the earliest I’ve ever seen it,” Darby said.

Baldwin agreed.

This is earlier than usual, but thankfully it has not become widespread yet,” she said.

The season typically runs from October and can run as late as May, with activity tending to peak between December and February, according to the CDC.

Meanwhile, flu vaccines are already available locally. Most pharmacies and doctors’ offices carry shots that protect against four influenza strains.

The Covington County Health Department has already administered its first shots. A second vaccination day is set for 7:30 a.m. until noon on Tuesday, October 2.

The CDC recommends getting vaccinated early, ideally by the end of October, before flu starts spreading.