With flu season underway, Arizona health officials urge getting flu shot

Laura Sidari and her family prioritized getting the flu shot after her 4-year-old son left died last year of influenza

Laura Sidari and her family prioritized getting the flu shot after her 4-year-old son left died last year of influenza

Getting it every year will keep you better protected, as well as help keep the populations most vulnerable to the flu - children and the elderly - safe through herd immunity.

Influenza has not been that deadly since at least since the mid-1970s, the AP reported.

It's hard to predict how severe the flu season will be this year, Lin said.

"This is concerning, because it is an increase from past year, but it is only the first week of recording", said Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services.

This is according to Mississippi State Department of Health state epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers. "But you can get really sick from a cold".

Last season, flu-like illnesses in the USA began to increase in November.

"There is not a shortage of flu vaccine", said Mary Anne Holmes, manager of vaccine-preventable diseases for the Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit.

However, flu season usually starts in November and lasts until April, so October is the ideal time to get vaccinated so you are protected before cases of the flu start appearing on campus. The best way to prevent the flu is by being vaccinated.

Flu shots are seldom something to look forward the protection they provide is worth a little pain, officials with health organizations across the state agree.

"So many people feel they can't afford the flu shot", she said, "and we want the public to know that everyone can get it, and that we will not turn anyone away here at the health department who either doesn't have insurance or simply doesn't have the $25 for it".

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that everyone six months and older should receive an annual flu vaccination.

Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said of the children reported to have died from the flu past year, most were unvaccinated.

The survey found that a third of parents with children under the age of 18 say the shot does not work to protect their kids from the flu, while more than half believe that their children can actually contract the flu from the vaccine. Shahab said the number of people getting it has been increasing in recent years.

There are hopeful signs the current flu season won't be as widespread or deadly as previous year, said an infectious disease expert with Vidant Medical Center.

Maybe you're ready to take your chances with your own health, but consider that a bout of flu means you risk infecting patients or going out of commission and not being able to care for patients at all. "I would urge people to have the vaccine, not only for themselves, but also for people around them, some of whom could be put at serious risk if they catch flu".

Other steps: Wash your hands often with soap and warm water.

Stay home while sick and limit contact with others. Avoid touching your face and eyes.

Latest News