Flu hits the Southeast hard

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - If you haven't already received a flu vaccination, the CDC says get one now, because the virus is expected to spread over the next few weeks.

Doctor Ron Reynolds of Beach Urgent Care says not only are flu cases expected to increase, but that this year's strain is a doozy, accompanied by body aches, nausea and something he says is unusual.

"We've seen a few cases of pneumonia related to the flu, which is a more unusual symptom and that's the unusual thing, because we have a few people that have been really, really sick," says Reynolds, whose office staff has been busy.

Just today, they had five people in for treatment of the flu.

Nationwide, the CDC says there is high activity in the South Central and Southeastern states. In North Carolina, eight people have died this season. South Carolina has had a total of six deaths.

To decrease your chances of getting the virus, wash your hands often, eat right, and exercise. Even though the vaccine isn't a 100 percent guarantee, it's considered to be your best defense of staying flu-free.

"It's a numbers game, and you hope that the strain you come in contact with is susceptible to the vaccine, and there's a high probability that it is," says Reynolds.

The flu season is expected to peak in January or February.

Copyright 2013 WMBF News. All rights reserved.