Health official: It's not too late for flu vaccine

Dec 24, 2017, 00:56
Health official: It's not too late for flu vaccine

"Thinking about folks that are traveling right now, it would be fruitful for them to know that flu could be traveling with them", Jernigan said. During this period, influenza, 612 influenza-related hospitalizations were reported, but no reports of pediatric deaths from influenza.

While both national and worldwide indicators hint that the illness could be severe this year, officials at the New Mexico Department of Health say it's too early to predict how bad the flu season might be.

Dr. Richard Rusk, medical officer of health for Manitoba Health, says there have been five deaths so far this year linked to the influenza virus and 100 documented cases.

Influenza is a serious illness that can lead to hospitalization or death.

"The virus seems to be, perhaps, a little more aggressive or just affecting our population a little more quickly than previous years", said Eric Howard, Epidemiologist with the Oklahoma City-County Health Department. Starting Dec. 31, the urgent care center, located in Moulton, will have extended Sunday hours - 10 4 p.m. - to deal with the increased number of patients, Griffin said. Also, experts suggest getting the flu shot.

Since Oct. 1, she said the Peterson Regional Medical Center's emergency room has tallied 34 positive tests for flu; and at the Urgent Care Center on Junction Highway, they have counted 20 flu cases.

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She recommends an annual influenza vaccination for everyone six months and older.

She said people still describe suffering through cases of the flu as "getting hit by a freight train".

Other suggestions for staying healthy include frequent hand-washing, using hand sanitizers, staying away from sick people, avoiding touching the eyes, nose or mouth, and cleaning commonly touched surfaces. "The influenza vaccination is inactivated". "You can always get a flu vaccine".

Vaccines are available at doctor's offices, pharmacies, and local health departments.

"The cost is nominal at health departments", Landers said, and insurance plans, Medicare and Medicaid may cover the cost.

Health officials highly recommend the vaccine, despite skeptics' concerns.