NewsHillsborough County


Doctors say flu is on the rise after taking an unusual year off

Posted at 4:03 PM, Dec 28, 2021

TAMPA, Fla. — It feels and looks like COVID symptoms but it's actually just the old-fashioned flu that is popping up in doctors' offices, as well as COVID-19.

"In the last couple of weeks, I have seen a slight rise which is consistent with what we’re seeing throughout Florida," said Dr. John Morrison, Family Medicine Physician for AdventHealth Care Pavilion New Tampa.

Morrison says after taking a hiatus last year, the flu is back.

"You know the flu didn’t just magically disappear first of all. But I think we saw a dip because people were so afraid to leave secondary to COVID," said Morrison.

Last year’s flu season was the lowest on record, likely because of COVID-19 measures. But with people becoming laxer on wearing masks, hand washing, and socially distancing, the virus is back on the rise and Morrison says the symptoms are similar to COVID.

"The best way to find out is to go to your primary physician or urgent care to get tested," said Morrison.

Besides getting the flu shot, doctors say to wash hands, avoid being around sick people, and don’t touch your face. Something that one medical study says the average person does nearly 16 times an hour.

"It's actually pretty scary how much we do touch our face," said Morrison.

Morrison says if you’re sick you should go to the doctor and get checked out. If it's the flu, he says there’s medicine to help treat the symptoms.

"We have medication that can decrease the length and severity of sickness so it is important to get in early and get tested," said Morrison.