MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Ebola is in the headlines now but soon the peak of flu season will be here and that is much easier to catch. If you don't want to be the next victim, your answer to stay flu-free is to start with the flu vaccine.
Doctors say time is running out to get the flu shot.
Ron Reynolds, Urgent Care Physician says, "It takes seven to 10 days for the flu vaccine to take affect. If you run into someone who has the flu and you haven't had your flu vaccine yet, it's too late."
Those aren't words of comfort any patient wants to hear, but it's reality of the infection.
"The problem that you have at the beginning of flu season is you don't really know what particular set of symptoms are going to be most prominent in any given year," explains Reynolds.
Coughs, colds, sinus congestion, fevers are all flu like symptoms. So far, Dr. Reynolds documented one flu case but has seen several others showing symptoms and dozens others taking the necessary precautions.
Beverly Roark a patient who is taking flu precautions says, " I have gotten the flu shot, plus they tell us to get other shots on top of that. I always carry Purell with me and always watch what I touch."
All ages can be hit with the flu - but the young and elderly are of most concern. In fact in any given year, several hundred people are diagnosed with the flu right here in Horry County. But the steps to prevent it are easy.
"Before I administer flu shot, I would give you a questionnaire, which you need to fill out, questions about your allergies, especially if you are allergic to eggs, aerosol, if you ever had seizures..." says Olga Dadonova, certified Medical Assistant.
Once you pass the questionnaire, you need to pick the arm for the shot, then you're good to go. If a flu shot is out of the question for you, here's advice from a patient who isn't taking any chances.
Roark warns, "Watch out for everything if someone is sick or just coughing of whatever you never know if it's the flu if it's allergies, just make sure you walk away, especially if they don't cover their mouth and nose."
Dr. Reynolds says it's too early to predict if it will be a busy flu season. Symptoms typically peak in Mid-December to January.