Health department holding walk-in clinic for flu shots

27 October, 2018, 22:02 | Author: Kara Nash
  • 2 hospitalizations reported in El Paso County in this young flu season

Flu season is here, and the best way to protect against the flu virus is to get your annual flu vaccine.

Flu vaccination is the main way to prevent sickness and death caused by flu.

"Based on the Southern Hemisphere's recent milder flu season, which runs opposite to our flu season and often predicts the outcome here, we are anticipating a less severe flu season in the USA this year", says Lisa Maragakis, senior director of infection prevention for the Johns Hopkins Health System and associate professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

More than half (54 percent) of Americans, including two-thirds (66 percent) of millennials ages 25-34, plan to get the flu vaccine earlier this year than they have in past years. It can also exacerbate medical conditions like heart or lung disease.

Data released Thursday also provide a comprehensive picture of the impact of last season's deadly respiratory virus. The CDC estimates that the flu sickened 49 million, hospitalized almost 1 million and killed 79,000. And once again, many people are going to ignore the question entirely, especially college students.

79,000 people died, the average number of people who attend the Superbowl. It was dominated by an especially fierce virus strain. "Recent H1N1 years have tended to be bad for pregnant women and younger adults", she added.

While vaccines have their flaws, they are still our most effective weapon against influenza. The virus changes rapidly, requiring more updates to the seasonal vaccine, and making it that much harder for the body's immune system to generate a good response. She is chief of the epidemiology and prevention branch in the CDC's influenza division. County health officials said he had "chronic health concerns".

It's too early to know whether people are "still carrying that around in ther minds", he said.


Winter is coming - and with winter comes influenza season.

Nationwide influenza activity is low, the CDC reported for the week ending October 13. If you are one of these people, it is still OK for you to get a flu shot from standard providers.

"Right now flu activity is low, with just a smattering of cases", said Dr. Alicia Fry.

One of the biggest ways to get the word out is setting up flu shot clinics at local businesses, he said. Early methods to protect yourself and others, such as the flu vaccine, gives people the chance to help themselves and others.

Offering vaccines can also help increase a retail pharmacy's profit margins, the National Community Pharmacists Association reported in 2016. People older than 64 should get a different strain, the CDC recommends. It can reduce the severity and shorten the duration of flu symptoms after one dose, FDA officials said. To learn more, watch this video on flu vaccination. The drug works by slowing down the replication of the virus in the body. Make sure to wash your hands, and don't cough in each other's face.

"It ultimately is a personal choice", she said.

The drug was developed by the Roche Group and Shionogi & Co.

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