Flu season hits - and it's not too late for a shot

Flu cases up in New Hanover County

It can be hard to tell in real time where a flu season will fall on the severity scale, because sometimes reports of influenza hospitalization and deaths - especially deaths among children - lag. You can take additional steps to ward off the flu by coughing or sneezing into a tissue or your elbow and avoiding touching your face.

For more information about the flu and free flu vaccines, call the Perry County Health Department at 931-589-2138.

You may have heard things like the flu shot can give you the flu or cold weather can make you more susceptible to catching the flu. "So, when they get the flu, it's a threat to their life", Hurst said. Utah is reporting 580 confirmed flu cases so far. "It is too early for us to know what the flu vaccine effectiveness is for the USA, and we can't make predictions based on what happened in other countries like Australia because it's not an equal comparison".

"We have seen a very big upsurge with people coming in with the general flu complaints".

It takes about two weeks for the vaccine to become effective after a person is vaccinated, officials said.

Shots still may be available from your doctor or local health clinic, as well as at some chain drugstores. The last two are more common in children than adults. You can not get the flu from the flu shot, but immunity usually takes about two weeks to develop.

People should also practice preventive care, wash their hands often, cover their cough or sneeze with their arm not their hand and if they do get sick or get flu-like symptoms, stay home from work for at least 24 hours. "'There's lots of flu in lots of places, ' he said".

The H3N2 Influenza A strain is now the most common strain this flu season, and when that happens it tends to create a more severe flu season, according to the CDC.

Because elderly people are so vulnerable to the flu, some nursing homes and assisted-living facilities may limit visitors and resident activities, depending on the level of illness. If you are in good underlying health, your symptoms are limited, fever and body aches are well controlled with antipyretics like acetaminophen and you are maintaining adequate hydration and nutrition, you can choose to ride it out. It has been an early flu season that seems to be peaking now, he said, with a 5.8% increase in laboratory-confirmed cases this week over last. The best way to help prevent the flu is getting the flu vaccine - even if it does not prevent the flu, it helps to shorten the length of illness.

It's just a coincidence flu season falls in winter.

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