Published: Tue, January 29, 2019
Health Care | By Terrence Lopez

Maine CDC urges flu shots as cases rise above 1,000 in state

Maine CDC urges flu shots as cases rise above 1,000 in state

There have been as many as 11.4 million flu illnesses, 5.4 million medical visits and 136,000 flu hospitalizations between October 1, 2018 and January 19, 2019, according to the weekly flu report released Friday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The 2017-18 flu season was especially bad. "We just don't know, nor can we predict why some people die of the flu", he says.

"They will continue to rise throughout the season, so really it's important and it's not too late to get your flu shot", said Karen Derusha of the Clinton County Health Department.

Flu vaccine numbers are down in Wales, with health experts warning influenza is beginning to circulate.

"We won't have the full picture until end of season, but we can already tell more people have received a vaccine in Iowa", she said.

Multiple school districts across the country have had to close because of widespread flu activity in multiple states.

The department of health defines a flu-related death as a "death resulting from a clinically compatible illness that was confirmed to be influenza by an appropriate laboratory or rapid diagnostic test with no period of complete recovery between the illness and death". "Vaccinated people can still get the flu but develop a milder illness than if they didn't get the vaccine". "And, you don't even need an appointment at a lot of places to get the flu vaccine". People with flu may be able to infect others from one day before going sick to up to five to seven days after.

Influenza has an abrupt onset, typically with a fever or chills, muscle or body aches including a headache and fatigue.

"I know from studying the evidence that vaccination works, and is the only effective way to prevent the spread of the flu virus".

A seasonal flu vaccine is recommended for everyone aged six months and older. Finally, when people encounter the social influence of someone like a health care provider who encourages vaccines, people are more likely to get vaccinated.

This season's influenza vaccine appears to be highly effective, reducing the risk of infection with the dominant circulating flu strain by more than 70 per cent - far better than what was seen with last year's shot, Canadian researchers say.

It comes as a report found fear of a vaccine's side effects, fuelled by myths on social media, is the top reason for people refusing them.

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