It's not too late for a flu shot

Joy Montgomery
February 15, 2018

Cuyahoga County Health Commissioner Terry Allan said, "We know right now that some people are reporting they're having some difficulty finding the vaccine; it's important they continue searching".

Reports of visits to doctors' offices and emergency rooms for influenza-like illness reached 7.7% for the week, up from 7.1% the previous week and topping a previous high (for a nonpandemic year) of 7.6% in the 2003-2004 season. Swine flu, which swept the globe in 2009 and 2010, sickened 60.8 million Americans, hospitalized 274,304 and killed 12,469, according to CDC data.

The flu is bad this year.

Guelph was struck especially hard, as news came in the same week that two children from Westminster Woods Public School had died. The flu season, however, can continue as late as May.

One of the worst hit areas was Ottawa, where 15 people are confirmed to have died from the flu, with the true number likely much higher, according to local officials. In all, 48 states are still reporting widespread geographic influenza activity; OR and Hawaii are reporting regional OR less widespread activity.

Test kits for flu are scarce this season, so the hospital is testing only people wih serious symptoms, Mihalik said.

Most importantly, Snyder wrote, get vaccinated.

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It's been a rough flu season partially due to the fact that the flu shot is not all that effective against this year's dominant strain of influenza, type A. "However, some protection is better than none", Dr. Schuchat said.

Another strain is floating around, which means you could get the flu twice.

"You also can help reduce the spread of flu through simple good health habits, like staying away from people who are sick, frequently washing your hands and covering your cough and sneeze", says Schuchat who stressed staying home if you're sick, "For those who are already sick, please stay home from work or school".

And simple rules cannot only keep you from getting sick but also prevent the spread of the virus that is killing so many.

Some people think getting the flu shot puts them at risk for the flu, but that's not true. And though children with preexisting medical conditions are known to be at higher risk for flu complications, the team found that half were previously healthy. They say it is not too late to be immunized.

If someone at home has the flu, opt to clean with paper towels and a disinfectant, rather than using a sponge, stated the website www.homeairguides.com.

"Students who have not (gotten) the flu vaccine and have not experienced influenza-like symptoms yet should consider receiving the flu vaccine", said Dr. Marshall in an email interview.

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