Published: Fri, January 06, 2017
Health Care | By Gwendolyn Kim

Nowhere near enough people getting flu vaccine, says HSE


For children who are 6 months through 8 years of age and who have been vaccinated with one dose, parents should check with the child's doctor to see if a second dose is needed. The IDPH confirms the victim was an elderly Central Iowa man who also had underlying health conditions.

Like most years, the flu is expected to affect very young and very old people the most severely.

Ehresmann noted that this year's flu vaccine appears to be a good match for the viruses circulating.

Three people in California have died so far during the 2016-2017 season due to flu-related illnesses, according to the state's public health department.

"Start the new year on the right foot by making sure you and your family get your flu vaccine", said Kris Ehresmann, director of the Infectious Disease Division at the Minnesota Department of Health.

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While vaccine effectiveness can vary, according to the Centers for Disease Control, the vaccine reduces the risk of flu illness by 50 to 60 percent. That number can be another key factor in the severity of a flu season, changing who gets exposed and whether they're at higher risk.

In Nova Scotia there have been 25 confirmed cases of the flu. Although CDC officials recommend that everyone 6 months and older receive the flu vaccine by the end of October to prevent getting sick this season, as of early November of 2016, about 60% of the USA population still had not received the seasonal flu shot. Over the last three seasons, there have been 17 pediatric flu deaths in total in NY and an average of 9,800 flu-related hospitalizations each season. Influenza can come with a fever, chills, a cough, sore throat, a runny or stuffed nose, body aches, headaches and fatigue. Most health insurance plans cover flu vaccines. "Flu also can make chronic medical problems worse", like increasing asthma attacks.

Other flu shot locations are available at http://VaccineFinder.org. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth until you have washed your hands.

For information about influenza and how to stay healthy, please visit www.cdc.gov/flu or http://flu.idaho.gov or contact Southeastern Idaho Public Health at 208-233-9080. See When to Get Medical Help for Flu Symptoms.

The CDC has this handy fact sheet on flu symptoms, how the virus spreads (easily and with great skill!) and how long you are a walking health hazard (a day before symptoms begin and five to seven days after you get sick.) If you're not sick yet, consider getting the flu shot.

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