CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Flu season is far from over, and already since September, it's claimed more than a dozen lives in North Carolina and nine now in South Carolina. Doctors say there's still time to get vaccinated.
"We saw a surge in the numbers, as well as the severity in some cases," said Dr. Jon Geometti with Catawba Valley Medical Center.
You know its flu season at Catawba Valley Medical Center when employees walk around in masks, and this year it's already claimed 13 lives in North Carolina.
"Mostly people with pre existing conditions that would put their immune system compromised, such as diabetes or people on chronic steroids," said Dr. Geometti.
Catawba Valley Family Medicine Southeast Catawba is up to about seven confirmed flu cases this week alone.
"Our positive cases here have been Type A and they've been mostly in the teenagers to middle aged people," said Dr. Elizabeth Restino.
Dr. Restino says it could be because of their push to get elderly vaccinated, they haven't seen them sick as much.
It's not too late for everyone to still get vaccinated and there's no reason not to.
"It's not going to cause flu illness in you, that's a long held myth," said Dr, Restino.
There's even the nasal spray for people afraid of needles.
"It's just not approved for people with medical conditions and they haven’t studied it in less than two years old or over 50," said Dr. Restino.
For most people getting, the flu means a week of misery, cough, fever aching, but doctors say it's not worth the risk of not taking precautions because we don't know what each year's strain will bring.
"We don't have a great cure, we have the vaccination to try and prevent cases. We have a medication to help mitigate symptoms but it's not like pneumonia where you can take an antibiotic," said Dr. Geometti.
Dr. Restino says it might be tougher to find the nasal spray because it comes with an expiration date, so you will want to call a location before going if you want to get the nasal spray.