An uptick in flu cases is beginning in the D.C. area


Flu season is in full swing now and is spreading.

The change to "widespread" flu activity in Virginia and Maryland hit about four weeks later than it did last year.

"Sometimes it starts off with a bang and keeps going up, which is exactly what we saw last year," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, National Institute of Allergy and Infection Diseases Director. "Other times we've seen it start late and peak much later. At the end of the year it looks as bad as the season that started early."

Still, those on the front lines like pediatrician Nicole Lee say they're seeing the increase first hand.

"We definitely saw a few cases in the early fall, but it really dropped off," Lee said. "In the last two or three weeks, we've seen many more cases."

Miserable kids and exhausted parents have been filing into doctor’s offices.

However, this year there is one difference. People ages 30 to 65 are more likely to be infected this flu season. That's according to Alexandra Grizas, Director of Infection Prevention with Virginia Hospital Center.

The good news, even with the increased activity cases are still relatively low when compared to last year.

"I think last year the flu vaccine did not work as well," Lee said. "There was probably a greater shift in the virus and so, this year I think the flu vaccine is working much better and we're seeing a lot more protection."

Lee says those who got the flu shot are experiencing a milder and shorter case of the flu.

Doctors also stress the importance of covering up coughs and sneezes and keeping your hands clean.

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