State officials: It's not too late to get vaccinated for flu

Bryan Strickland
January 12, 2018

"With the increase in influenza impacting many communities across the entire state, it is important to get a flu shot now if you have not done so already", said CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith.

Flu season typically runs from October to May, peaking in February. It's much more severe than sniffles and a cough.

Dr. Neelakanta said the best line of defense, is still the flu vaccine.

This season, there have been at least 10,324 flu cases and 91 flu-related deaths in the county, according to County Health and Human Services Agency officials. The CDC reported the 2016-17 vaccine had a 32 percent effective rate for this particular strain.

The number of North Carolina flu deaths has more than doubled this season compared with the same period past year, according to state statistics. The very young, older people and those with underlying health conditions are especially susceptible to the flu. The vaccine reduces the chance of serious illness, hospitalisation and even death among those who are most at risk.

"This unfortunate incident serves as a reminder that the flu can be deadly, especially for people at high risk for severe disease", Matyas said in a press release issued Tuesday.

While we expect flu season every year, this year it came sooner than normal.

"No vaccine is 100 percent effective", said Carolyn Kaltenberg, a nurse and immunization program manager with Grand Forks Public Health.

For more information about influenza, visit CDPH's website.

Everyone 6 months of age and older should be vaccinated against the flu.

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How long can a sick child spread the flu to others?

Pregnant women, young children, seniors and people with other health conditions are particularly at risk and should seek medical care if they think they may have the flu. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

"If you are sick, if you are ill, you need to stay home until your doctor says that it is safe for you to return and not be contagious to those around you". Germs spread this way.

Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.

Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses.

Also, if your doctor prescribes an antiviral medication like Tamiflu (oseltamivir), Relenza (zanamivir) and Rapivab (peramivir), be sure to take it.

People in close contact with high-risk groups, should get a flu shot to protect themselves and the people in their care.

It takes about two weeks after vaccination for the body to respond fully.

Influenza vaccines are made from an inactivated virus that can't transmit infection.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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