Updated: Wednesday, 05 Dec 2012, 7:06 PM EST
Published : Wednesday, 05 Dec 2012, 7:06 PM EST
PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) - Emergency rooms in North Carolina are seeing a record number of flu patients and experts say the bug is on its way to Virginia.
So far, two people have died in North Carolina and health officials report the number of cases in Virginia is actually below average right now. Doctors are already seeing the first cases in Hampton Roads.
Dr. Mark Hippenstiel with Patient First in Virginia Beach told WAVY.com his staff has flu tests ready for a quick diagnosis.
If the results are positive he prescribes medicine that can cut the severity of the symptoms in half and help reduce the risk you'll spread it.
Hippenstiel also recommends getting a flu shot. The Centers for Disease Control reports last year's vaccine was about 60 percent effective.
"There's no 100 percent guarantee you're not going to get sick," Hippenstiel said. "Life is full of risks and getting sick is just a risk factor of being alive."
You can reduce the risk to yourself and others by keeping your hands clean, covering your coughs and sneezes and staying home when you're sick.
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