With fall among us and winter on the horizon it is officially flu season. Between FAMU’s
weeklong homecoming at the end of October, FSU’s home game against Georgia Tech
and many Halloween celebrations across the capital city, a surge in flu cases was
According to the Mayo Clinic, Influenza, better known as the flu, is an infection of the
nose, lungs and throat. The highly contagious respiratory virus brings on symptoms that
typically start off like those of a common cold with things like a runny nose, sore throat
Those mild symptoms can quickly evolve into body aches, chills, fevers and
According to an article in the Tallahassee Democrat, Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare
reported a surge of patients coming in with influenza symptoms and they are even
asking that those feeling milder symptoms be treated elsewhere or stay home and self-
treat with over-the-counter medication.
TMH made this unusual request in order to leave room for those experiencing more
serious symptoms like shortness of breath and chest pains. A spokesperson for HCA
Florida Capital Hospital told the Democrat that the for-profit chain is seeing surges in
similar cases across all their emergency rooms.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone over six
months old get an annual flu vaccination unless you are in the minority of exceptions.
Some of those exceptions include people who have had severe allergic reactions to a
flu vaccine and people with allergies to any flu vaccine ingredients. The CDC says that
having the flu vaccination is not only a preventative measure for contracting the virus,
but it also can prevent consequential complications in the event that you find yourself
with the illness.
According to tmh.org, Tallahassee is not the only place seeing a surge in flu cases. In
fact it is hitting earlier and harder across the country. They also provide eight steps to
protect yourself and others against the flu. The steps include getting vaccinated,
washing your hands frequently, disinfecting surfaces, practicing healthy habits, covering
your nose and mouth, not sharing food and drinks, avoiding close contact with those
who have the virus and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
To receive free flu vaccinations, check with your local pharmacy. Tallahassee students
may inquire with their respective institutions’ clinics to learn more about the vaccination
services and incentives offered on their campus.