By Sandy Meyer

The Flu Bug is spreading through the Tampa community. But don’t fear. The Flu Bug is actually a Volkswagen Beetle disguised as the flu virus. Sherri Mills, driver of the Flu Bug and marketing manager for Fizz Corp., has been tasked with getting the word out to the community about prevention and treatment for the flu.

According to Mills, the idea for the community outreach program came from the CEO of Quidel Corporation, a manufacturer of diagnostic healthcare products. “He wants to eradicate flu deaths. There were up to 36,000 flu deaths in 2015 and we’re still waiting for 2016 results,” said Mills.

Mills and her sidekick, Captain Quidel, visit community events, schools and senior centers in an effort to get the word out about how to prevent and treat the flu. Captain Quidel is a superhero, cape and all, who comes to the events with Mills and speaks to the audience about the flu. The presentations normally last only about 10 minutes and the message is straightforward. Captain Quidel explains how often to wash your hands, how long to wash your hands and how to cough into your elbow instead of your hand. He also goes over the symptoms and reminds kids and adults alike to get tested as soon as you feel the symptoms. Testing leads to treatment and reduces both the length and the severity of the virus. Quidel has also created an app which allows users to input their zip code to determine how active the flu is in their community. Just visit to see the level of activity in your zip code.

“We’re not for or against the flu vaccine. We just want you to get tested and get the proper treatment,” said Mills. There is no charge for Mills and Captain Quidel to visit an event.
They currently visit childcare centers, schools, senior centers and attend networking events in an effort to get the word out. If you would like to have the Flu Bug at your next event, camp or business, please call Sherri Mills at 410-900-5630.

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