By: Noelani Mathews | WCTV Eyewitness News
June 26, 2018
THOMAS CO., Ga. (WCTV) -- Florida’s Department of Health has already seen two flu outbreaks this month. The outbreaks prove you can still get the flu even after the season is over.
Already this year, nearly 150 people have died from the flu in Georgia. The virus might be known to wreak havoc in the winter, but healthcare professionals in Thomas County say it can strike at any time.
The typical flu season people are familiar with runs from November to February, but healthcare providers can still see cases during the summer.
Deborah Burch is a full-time Nursing professor at Thomas University and also works for Florida's Department of Health. She says it's important that people stay alert and take proper precautions.
"Influenza is always around. It's one of those diseases that's always there. We see the peaks and the rises, but it's always possible to come down with an illness like that," said Burch.
The CDC says it's safe to take everyday precautions and antiviral medications to prevent it. However, healthcare professionals say the single most effective way is the vaccine, which can still be found at most local pharmacies.
Other common summer illnesses include colds, food poisoning and Lyme disease. All can mimic many flu-like symptoms, so officials say it's important if experiencing any symptoms to see a doctor right away.
The flu is rare during the summer months, but health officials say it’s an early indicator for what's to come next season.