The Flu Shot Is Not Just About You

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Regionally, Shelton said, not all the numbers are in regarding flu, but some increase in cases has been observed.

During last years flu season, less than 50 percent of people in the USA reported having been vaccinated by the end of November, according to the CDC. And that would mean the peak will be sometime before February.

Health officials like Maggie Hall, with the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County, say that could be an early indication of a more severe influenza season early next year.

Heather Ren, with HSHS St. John's Hospital in Springfield says even in a good year, the flu vaccine is roughly 60% effective.

There have already been more than seven thousand confirmed flu cases during the current flu season nationwide, according to the Center for Disease Control. These are the first flu-related deaths reported this flu season.

And finally, if you can, stay at home if you're sick. In each case, distribution of the flu vaccine begins about 7 months later.

"Influenza is starting to transmit more frequently", said Shahab, the province's chief medical health officer. Getting a flu shot can help protect you and those around you from getting sick before flu season hits.

The health department is warning people to be prepared.

Michael Wiese, an epidemiologist for the Department of Health in Hillsborough County, said while flu seasons can be hard to predict, this year's strain could be concerning.

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“The single best way to prevent the spread of the flu is getting an annual flu shot.

Gina Games, a pharmacist at JR Pharmacy in Terre Haute, says this could potentially be a rough flu season. Researchers explained that the strain of the flu virus that manufacturers used to produce the shots has just mutated rendering the drugs almost useless.

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

It usually takes between one and three days for flu symptoms to develop after catching the virus.

"Regardless of how effective a vaccine is, vaccination is the best protection against the flu".

Influenza vaccines, also known as flu shots, are vaccines that protect against influenza.

Since Sept. 1, 40 per cent of the influenza cases were in the 20- to 64-year-old category, 30 per cent were seniors, 20 per cent were school age children and 10 per cent were preschool age.

Older adults account for more than half of hospitalizations due to influenza and over 80 percent of deaths associated with influenza so there is an increased focus to make sure that they get vaccinated, Schaffner said.

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