Cold Weather and Flu Risk Creates Dangerous Combo in Central AR

Report: Hospitalized flu cases nearly double in last week

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Temperatures take a dive as sickness soars.

 "Arkansas is hit real hard with the flu," Ian Seng says.

"And, it looks like it's just mowing us over, man."

Seng runs the Medicine Man Pharmacy on Bowman in Little Rock, and it's busy.

Seng says, lately, all he sees is either the flu or something close to it.

"Runny noses to the max, we've got cough, nausea," Seng says.

UAMS has seen the same spike.

"This has been a busier flu season," Dr. Robert Hopkins says.

Hopkins works as the Director of Internal Medicine at UAMS. He blames a particular dangerous flu strain that's popular this season called the H3N2.

"When this strain comes around we tend to have more sick folks," Hopkins says.

It usually hits those 8 and younger or 65 and older.

NPR shared a map citing the CDC, and it classifies Arkansas as "high" for influenza-like illnesses in the first week of the season.

In an effort to reduce a further risk, Dr. Hopkins has modernized his method of trying to keep flu germs at bay.

"What my daughter and my sons will say is, 'When you cough or sneeze, you gotta DAB,'" Hopkins says while doing the motion.

"The germs go [into your sleeve] rather than in your hands or out into the space to get to people."

It's part of fighting a flu risk with numbers that appear to be doing anything but freezing.

Doctors also encourage everyone to stay hydrated, stay out of the cold and to stay home if symptoms begin to show up.

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