Have You Gotten Your Flu Shot?

Have You Gotten Your Flu Shot?

Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department Administrator Howard Gamble says the flu shot is not risky, and that this article most likely is twisting factual information to match a certain narrative.

On Monday, at least one school district in the state was closed because of a flu outbreak.

The health department is located at 3130 Victoria Blvd. Seventeen patients now remain hospitalized. The flu season begins in October and can last up to 20 weeks.

The month of February is traditionally the peak time for the flu season - and we all know this year's round of the flu has been much worse than past years. In fact, it is known to be a 50-year-old circulating disease, the "Hong Kong Flu", but this season it reached its deathly potential.

No region stands out as being hardest hit this season, said Russell, but the majority of the cases appear to involve people aged 65 and older, said Russell. If you go to the ER and you don't actually have the flu, you could catch it from others who have it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The proportion of Americans seeing their health care provider for influenza-like illnesses for the week ending January 13 was 6.3 percent, the highest percentage since the 2003-2004 season. Only about 40% of people under the "young adult" denomination has gotten a shot this year.

The CDC expects the 2017-2018 flu epidemic to be the most deadly since the 2009-2010 that killed 284,000 people worldwide and 657 Californians.

A major problem is that the vaccine this year has only been about 30 percent effective and some strains of the flu are mutating, making the vaccine less effective.

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Some surveys indicate about 40 percent of the population typically get the flu shot from a doctor's office, other health care provider, or even the pharmacies. But the agency said most people with influenza are being infected with the H3N2 virus.

The major emergency rooms of St. Joseph's Healthcare System in Paterson in New Jersey, United States have been serving a wide rush of people admitting due to the flu. Just in Nueces County, there have been 5,935 flu illnesses.

The flu vaccine is recommended by state and federal health officials not only to prevent contracting the virus but also to potentially lessen its severity.

"Working on a universal flu vaccine which will protect agaisnt all strains of the virus and be given every several years or ideally, only once in a lifetime."

"Good health habits, like covering your cough and washing your hands often can help stop the spread of germs and prevent the flu", Rodriguez said.

Another important way to avoid getting sick with the flu or other bugs is to "wash your stinking hands", as Florida nurse Katherine Lockler put it in a video that recently went viral.

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