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Flu Season Starting Early in Southern West Va.

Local - 12/28/2012 5:48 PM by Rebecca Turco
Hospital officials are urging you to take precautions due to an earlier than normal flu season in Southern West Virginia.

Raleigh General Hospital has seen about 75 flu cases in the past 15 days alone, according to infection control nurse Nancy Ward. Usually, hospitals see a flu outbreak in mid- to late- January.

Ward said to see your health care provider if you have flu-like symptoms, such as a low-grade fever of 100 or coughing. Common gathering places where infections can easily spread, such as the mall, should also be avoided.

To help prevent getting the flu, wash your hands regularly and stay home if you are sick.

The flu strain hospitals are seeing is not the strain included in this year's flu vaccine. "Just because you've had your flu vaccine does not necessarily mean you're going to be protected from this strain of flu," said War. "It's occurring early on in large numbers, so it looks like that may be the flu that will be predominant this year."

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