Health department urges people to get flu vaccinations.

January 17, 2018

Health department urges people to get flu vaccinations.

District Health Department #10, which represents this area, has sent out a press release urging people to get a flu virus vaccination.

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness that can cause mild to severe infection in the nose, throat, and lungs. In some cases, serious flu-related complications, like pneumonia, can lead to hospitalization and even death. A study conducted by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) showed that among hospitalized flu patients, the flu vaccination reduced deaths, intensive care unit (ICU) admissions, ICU length of stay and overall duration of hospitalization (Clinical Infections Disease (CID) Journal).

The flu season typically starts in October and can last as late as May. Once you receive the flu vaccination, it can take up to two weeks for it to be fully effective. “Anyone can get the flu and face serious complications, which include death”, said Dr. Jennifer Morse, DHD#10 medical director . “That is why the flu shot is recommended for everyone over the age of 6 months, regardless of whether they are healthy or have risks. The very young, pregnant women, elderly, and those with certain underlying health problems are at higher risk to have serious flu-related complications.”

According to Dr. Morse, when H3N2 is the predominate strain in a flu season, there are typically more flu-related hospitalizations and deaths in those over 65 and in younger children. It is important during H3N2-dominate flu seasons that individuals with symptoms, especially seniors, young children, pregnant women, and those with underlying health conditions, seek medical care as soon as possible, as antiviral medications called neuraminidase inhibitors can prescribed.

Flu symptoms include:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Possible vomiting and diarrhea

People of every age including those in good health, are at risk of catching the flu. The CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older receive the vaccine. It is especially important for protecting those at high risk for serious complications, including:

  • Infant and Young Children
  • Adults over the age of 65
  • Pregnant Women
  • People with chronic health conditions
  • People living with or caring for high-risk individuals

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