Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Medical | By

CDC Warns of Nasty Flu Season

CDC Warns of Nasty Flu Season

Myth #9 - Getting vaccinated is the only way I can prevent myself from getting the flu.

A free flu vaccination clinic is coming to the Eastern Shore.

Sure, it may still feel like summer. If an individual is exposed to the virus in this time, they may develop the flu, despite having been vaccinated against it.

Beginning this week, Oneida county and other health departments in the region have gotten in the first of this year's vaccine.

According to the CDC recommendations seniors or the elderly are to be given high doses of the vaccine.

Most of the advisories about flu vaccines and prevention specifically mention the best time to get a flu shot.

The Georgia Department of Public Health said it is already getting reports of flu cases around the state although there's no particular pocket of outbreaks yet.

"Everyone six months of age or older should get a flu vaccine each year for the best protection against the flu", said Lynnan Svensson, Nursing Program Manager with Public Health.

The CDC says more than 700,000 people nationwide went to hospitals with flu symptoms past year, which is one of the reasons the state Health Department is urging Central Georgians to get a flu shot now.

Flu vaccine seems more effective in women; men recover faster from the flu. That includes "all women who are pregnant, are considering pregnancy, are in the postpartum period, or are breastfeeding during the influenza season", the AAP advises. "But every indicator we used to track flu a year ago was within the range of normal". This costs an estimated $10.4 billion a year in direct medical expenses and an additional $16.3 billion in lost earnings annually, according to the CDC. To study the question, the investigators looked at a database of patients over seven flu seasons, from 2010-2011 to 2016-2017. There were also 150 deaths, including five children, in Georgia. Patients were included if they were at least 1-year-old and had seen a doctor within seven days of the onset of flu-like symptoms.

"However, [the flu shot] can still be beneficial and vaccination should continue to be offered throughout the flu season, even into January or later", the CDC says in a flu shot advisory.

"It's key that everyone understands our best protection is a seasonal flu vaccine, which are now available and can help mitigate the severity of this season", said Dr. Andi Shane, medical director of hospital epidemiology at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. "It's important to get your flu vaccination, especially if you're in the higher-risk population...." .

Typically, older adults" bodies do not respond as well to the flu vaccine due to their naturally weaker immune systems, however, this "adjuvanted' vaccine boosts effectiveness by improving the body's immune response to the vaccine. People who get the flu after getting the vaccine were likely infected before or directly after receiving the vaccine.

The CDC has approved its use for this upcoming flu season, an opportunity Christensen says to vaccinate those who have feared the needle, like most children. About 2,000 US adults were surveyed.

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