COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.- In southwest Florida, the holiday season isn't just known for warm weather and Christmas carols.
"Collier County becomes increasingly crowded. We're going to be in close contact with a lot of people, people who may have gotten the flu up north," said Deb Milsap.
So health officials are asking people to be proactive, in the hopes of preventing a repeat in the 2009 swine flu outbreak. But Deb Milsap with the Department of Health in Collier County said this flu season is already showing similarities.
"The unique issue was young people, pregnant women, people with chronic disease and were dying faster than older people which is unusual. And we're in the same situation so far," said Milsap.
It's a familiar situation for Kimberly Campbell who makes sure her son gets the flu shot every year. Now that she's pregnant with her second child, Campbell's doctor made her get the vaccine.
"I was three months when flu season rolled around and I was high risk at the time, so my O.B. told me it was in the best health for the baby," said Campbell.
Milsap adds now is a great time to get a flu shot, before flu season kicks into high gear.
"Our peak season is usually mid to late January."
And this year because there have been many flu cases involving pregnant women, the Department of Health in Collier County is giving pregnant women free flu shots.
Vaccines are available at the following Florida Department of Health – Collier County sites:
Health Building, 3339 East Tamiami Trail, Naples (8 – 3 pm, Monday through Friday; 252-6264 for information/ Flu Hotline #: 252-8212)
Immokalee location: 419 North 1st Street, Immokalee (8-5 pm, Monday through Friday; 252-7300)
Appointments are not necessary.