Wednesday, 23 May, 2018

Doctors encourage flu shots as number of hospitalizations rises

Dr. Aamir Bharmal Fraser Health Authority Doctors encourage flu shots as number of hospitalizations rises
Melissa Porter | 09 January, 2018, 02:56

While the PHAC report said overall flu activity is within the expected range for the current period, influenza B is circulating much earlier than usual.

For more information on flu prevention, visit the Oklahoma State Department of Health's website. But most people in California and the rest of the country are catching a particularly unsafe strain of influenza that the vaccine typically doesn't work well against. Those who already have a health condition are at more risk if they develop flu. Health officials predict that the flu vaccine may only be around 32% effective this year, and doctors say that the severity of this year's cases is because people in California are catching a unsafe strain of influenza that the virus does not normally work to prevent against.

It is not uncommon for local healthcare providers to release joint public health statements, and Sentara "has teamed together with area hospitals and health systems on community-wide flu masking recommendations for a number of years", according to Sentara spokesperson Kelsea Smith.

The free vaccine for uninsured residents is available at Sedgwick County's Division of Health main clinic, located at 2716 W. Central in Wichita.

Between Dec. 2 and Dec. 30, the percentage of lab-confirmed and influenza-like illness soared from around 3 percent to more than 40 percent of the specimens tested, according to the ADPH.

Gunzenhauser said vaccination against influenza lowers one's chances of catching the flu or being a carrier.

If you've heard that the flu shot might actually give you the flu, rest assured that's impossible. The public keeps hearing that the flu shot is only 10 percent effective at protecting against the virus. A primary tool in that defense remains the influenza vaccine, which changes every year to better match new strains of influenza on the attack. Christian said flu activity in Tennessee is widespread and officials are urging everyone over 6 months old to get a shot.

Avoid close contact with people who have the flu.

Dr. Nettland said it's important to recognize the symptoms of the flu early on; these include a fast onset of severe aches, fever, and sore throat.

If possible, stay home from work, school and running errands when you are sick.