As flu season worsens, under-the-weather Neki Mohan heeds her own reporting

Health experts recommend treating flu-like symptoms early

PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. – I woke up Tuesday achy and with the chills so I heeded the advice that I passed out in my story last week about tackling flu symptoms early.

I came back to Memorial Urgent Care to be tested for the flu, so I could begin treatment if necessary right away.

Flu season has reached epidemic conditions in most of the country and the number of people testing positive in South Florida is steadily rising.

In a state breakdown of flu activity, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 53 counties, including Miami-Dade, Broward, Monroe, and Palm Beach, are experiencing increasing levels of flu activity.

Doctors think the increase in flu cases may be in part because the flu vaccine may be less effective than usual this season. The CDC says it's usually 50 percent effective. This year the flu shot is about 32 percent effective. 

Tamiflu is the only drug known to treat flu-like symptoms, but you have to get it prescribed sooner rather than later.

After taking my vitals, my temperature was a little high. Dr. Marc Shapiro of Memorial Healthcare listened to my heart and lungs before taking a nasal swab to test for flu.

After an eight-minute test, the results were ready.

"You do not test positive for the influenza virus," Shapiro said.

Good news for me, but I still have to get some rest.

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