Flu season expected to be severe in Florida

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – This year’s flu season has already proven deadly in Florida.

The Florida Department of Health says three children have already died as a result of the virus during this season. None of the children had been vaccinated this year, the department says.

Dr. Paul Nanda is the medical director for Tampa General Hospital’s Urgent Care facility in South Tampa. He says the flu vaccine is the best protection against the virus.

“It’s a very contagious virus, it can progress rapidly but it specifically hits people that are immune-compromised, young children, people that are older, people that have diabetes or people who can’t get the flu shot based on other health conditions,” said Dr. Nanda.

For children, getting the flu vaccine is especially important.

“Getting your child vaccinated decreases their chance of death from the flu by 60 percent,” said Dr. Nanda.

It’s also important at family and large public gatherings to be mindful of the possibility of contracting the flu.

“So it’s important to wash your hands a lot, it’s important to keep your hands away from your face, but the single best thing you can do to protect yourself is to get the flu shot, to get vaccinated,” said Dr. Nanda.

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