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giftedviz.com December 18, 2017


First 2 flu-related deaths of season in Washoe County

08 December 2017, 12:52 | Pamela Mathis

National Influenza Week stresses importance of vaccinations

Expect a Bad Flu Season

You're less likely to have severe flu.

Being vaccinated better protects not only the individual, but also everyone around them.

The four most deadly flu seasons of the last 10 years - in the winters of 2003-2004, 2007-2008, 2012-2013, and 2014-15 - were H3N2 seasons, each with a particular version of that flu type.

In 2014, 147 children died of flu - a lot of them from a particular strain, H3N2.

The number of flu vaccines given out at the Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health District is also up.

However, as Dr. Tanya Altmann, a pediatrician and spokeswoman for the American Academy of Pediatrics, pointed out, the flu has potentially serious complications such as pneumonia, bronchitis and sinus and ear infections.

Vaccine options this year include the standard formulation that protects against three strains of the virus; a "quadrivalent" version that protects more broadly; and two different high-dose options for adults 65 and older.

The biggest drop in flu shot rates was seen among Hispanic adults (down 7.7 percent from last year). He encourages people age 65 and older to talk with their doctor about getting one of the vaccines created to give older people a better immune response, and therefore, better protection against flu.

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Each flu season is unique; the timing of the peak activity and how severe a season will be are hard to predict, making it very important to protect yourself against flu as early as possible.

"Among the general population, about 39% have received the vaccine", said Stokley, co-author of a new CDC report that canvased people by phone and internet in early November.

Flu season is underway, and health officials say there are signs the vaccination may only be 10 percent effective against the main strain.

For the elderly or others who are especially vulnerable, a doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication to help lesson symptoms.

Between twelve-thousand and fifty-six-thousand deaths each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Still, "I believe it's worth getting the vaccine", Siegel said.

Among health care workers who declined the vaccine, the most common reason is fear of experiencing side effects or getting sick from the vaccine.

She urged the Ministry of Health and Welfare to put the plan on hold until it has evaluated demand for the vaccines and secured funding to cover the costs of sourcing, delivering and administering them.



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