Now is the time to prepare for flu season, according to doctors.
“We are working hard to get ready for that," Urgent Care Clinic Director Dr. Richard Griffith said.
“Especially towards Fall, you begin to think about it," Branson Resident Franklin Hedberg said.
Doctors say last year's flu epidemic was bad.
“Hate to say it, but there were some deaths last year from influenza," Dr. Griffith said.
Waiting rooms were packed and supplies ran short.
“The whole community last year, at the peak of the flu season ran out of flu testing and ran out of Tamiflu," Dr. Griffith said.
Dr. Griffith says there is no way to predict how bad the flu might get this winter, but they’re getting prepared.
“This year I'm hoping that the hospital and the local community and all the healthcare services are pumping up their supplies of that, so that we can take care of people," Dr. Griffith said.
All staff must get the flu vaccine and Cox has a new online program called Save My Spot to help cut down time spent in the waiting room.
"Allows you to wait at home instead of waiting out there where everyone is coughing and sneezing at you," Dr. Griffith said.
Many patients are already doing their part, too, through preventative measures like the flu shot.
“Every year, I always ask myself the question, 'Should I or shouldn’t I do this?' And I think, for all good concerned, you should," Hedberg said.
Doctors agree, getting the shot and using basic practices like good hand washing can help cut down on flu cases this year.
"The great blessing would be if we don't see so many," Dr. Griffith said.
Doctors recommend that you get the flu shot by the end of October. The vaccine is especially important for young children, seniors, and pregnant women.