There's still time to get a flu shot

Dec 17, 2017, 01:06
There's still time to get a flu shot

You may have joined this year's early flu season.

The latest data is from the week ending in December 2nd, though new data is expected out soon.

Doctors say a typical flu season in Oklahoma usually runs from October to May. Emergency rooms and urgent care facilities in Central Virginia say about two percent of visits right now are for flu-like illnesses. People aged 75 and older and those living in sub-Saharan Africa had the highest rates of flu-associated respiratory deaths, the study found.

Beth Lantrip, infection preventionist with Hendrick Medical Center, said that in Public Health Region 2/3 - which includes Abilene - the current Influenza Activity Level is "Local", above "Minimal" and "Sporadic", but below "Regional" and "Widespread".

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"Anything that you can do to help prevent your family from getting the flu is very beneficial", said Altmann, who was not involved in the CDC research.

"Flu is increasing. We're seeing a pretty steep increase in influenza activity across the U.S. but especially in the South", said Brendan Flannery, a co-author of the new report and an epidemiologist in the CDC's flu division.

"Flu is coming, it's increasing in numbers right now, and right now is the time to get your flu shot", he said.

"Even in years when the vaccine effectiveness isn't as high, the vaccine still offers better protection than nothing", she said. Common symptoms include cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, fever and chills, muscle and body aches, headaches and fatigue. They then used computer modeling to develop estimates for flu-linked deaths, excluding pandemics, in 185 countries.

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The CDC also recommends the injectable flu shot over the nasal spray vaccine because it has proven to be more effective. If you work with people, especially if you work with people who may have a compromised immune system such as young children, the elderly or those already sick, not getting your flu shot may be considered negligence if someone gets infected as a result of an employee not getting their flu shot.

"All indications are that we are seeing more flu earlier in the year, and we anticipate more cases", said Randall Williams, MD, director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

The first full week of the holiday shopping season saw a spike in the number people coming down with influenza in the St. Louis area.

Paulina Rodriquez, infection control practitioner at Abilene Regional Medical Center, said that cases are tracking similarly to a year ago.

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