CDC warns too few people have got the flu shot this year

Francis Osborne
December 13, 2017

DPH says flu activity has increased over the past several weeks.

Right now, the virus is regional, meaning there have been increases in confirmed flu cases in at least two but less than half of the regions in the state.

"Our patients are the focus of everything we do and the vaccine is just one way to protect ourselves during flu season", Lennon said.

Michael Hokanson with the North Central Health District says, "Not only will it protect you against the flu but even if some chance you do get the flu after getting the shot, it will make sure those symptoms that you get from the flu aren't as severe because the flu can become a serious illness if symptoms are allowed to go wild". The flu season is expected to be more severe than usual since the strain that is expected to circulate is H3N2, which historically has led to higher overall flu hospitalization and death rates. While it is true that most of the people who die or are hospitalized have more illnesses to begin with - even younger relatively healthy individuals can have so much damage to the lungs that they require help from a hospital to get through the illness. These are the first flu-related deaths reported this flu season. In order to prevent the virus, people often get the flu shot. Most influenza viruses characterized during this period were genetically or antigenically similar to the Northern Hemisphere cell-grown vaccine reference viruses for 2017 to 2018. But, recent reports say this year's flu vaccine is only 10 percent effective.

New figures from the Arizona Department of Health Services shows there already have been 1,143 cases so far this season.

"A common myth is that the flu shot can give you the flu", said Swift.

Gina Games, a pharmacist at JR Pharmacy in Terre Haute, says this could potentially be a rough flu season.

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People who are suffering from a cold are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose.

The flu vaccine is typically available at your family doctor's office and is covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most other health insurance providers.

As flu season begins across the US concerns, are being raised about the effectiveness of the vaccine. Children of all ages with a health condition that puts them at greater risk of flu are also eligible for the flu vaccine. "It does tend to impact the elderly population more", she said Tuesday in an interview.

Many GP practices hold large flu vaccination clinics.

Rigler said it may just be that people are getting the flu earlier in the season than normal.

We also researched bird flu strains by visiting a New England shoreline each year to take samples from birds that travel from the southern tip of South America and take a break to feed on horseshoe crabs.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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