House Report: Health Department Prepares Vaccines for Flu Season


Image Credit CFJC Today

2:52pm Image Credit CFJC Today

Children, especially those who are under the age of 5 or those with a chronic health problem, have a higher risk of developing serious flu-related complications, according to the CDC.

People of all ages can get the flu.

Influenza is a highly contagious viral illness that is particularly risky for young children, pregnant women, people with chronic medical conditions and elderly people.

For comparison, the CDC estimates that 60 million people were sickened during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, and 2017-18 outpaced all other recent non-pandemic flu seasons in severity.

Absolutely not, say researchers, who found that last year's shot will not in any way reduce the flu-fighting strength of this year's shot.

The DeKalb County Health Department, 2550 N. Annie Glidden Road, started vaccinating the public September 10, and has given about 1,300 adult and children flu vaccines so far, said Cindy Graves, director of community health and prevention with the DCHD. 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. "However, with the vaccine, most people will have less severe symptoms and a shorter recovery period.Flu prevention" People don't realize that family, close friends, people you go to church with, that when you get the shot you protect them", said Karen Long, the immunization director at the Howard County Health Department.

"Now is the flawless time to get vaccinated ... it gives your body enough time to respond to the vaccine and mount a good immune response so you're ready for the flu season", Fry said. There also was a drop in influenza vaccinations among adults in the 2017-18 flu season, according to the CDC. "Many Hoosiers die each year as the result of the flu or the after-effects of the flu."During the 2017-18 season, more than 300 people died in IN, according to the state Department of Public Health".

Last year, there were 227 flu-related deaths reported in Arkansas.

DPH officials report weekly influenza activity to the CDC as part of statewide flu surveillance efforts. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Once you get the flu vaccine, it takes about two weeks for it to be fully effective.

It's still unclear what this coming flu season will be like.

In its weekly report covering flu activity through last week, the CDC said disease activity is still low nationally, with only four states reporting local flu activity: Massachusetts, New Hampshire, North Dakota, and Oregon. Kentucky now is reporting 28 laboratory-confirmed cases of flu and one influenza-related death.

Anti-vaccine rhetoric also did not help, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials said.

People should bring their insurance cards with them to the flu vaccine clinic. The best way to protect children under 6 months old from the flu is to make sure members of their household and their caregivers are vaccinated. Some companies are even offering on-site flu shots.Although organizations like the health department and hospitals are responding, the general public can help prevent the disease from spreading.One of the most important things to do is also the most basic: Wash your hands regularly with soap and water.The proper procedure is to wash the hands in clean running water with soap for 20 seconds.