Published: Tue, December 03, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Public Health Column: This is National Influenza Week, get your flu shot

Public Health Column: This is National Influenza Week, get your flu shot

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's weekly FluView report, released Monday, 2.9 percent of all visits to healthcare providers across the country for the week ending November 23 were related to influenza, up from 2.5 percent the previous week. Chelsea Reome-Nedlik, a Public Health Representative, says anyone six months or older should get vaccinated.

However, for the first time this flu season, an additional seven states - Arkansas, Arizona, Connecticut, Nebraska, Nevada, Virginia and Washington - reported moderate virus activity. NIVW serves as a reminder it is not too late to get a flu vaccine.

Parents are being urged not to delay in getting the flu vaccine for their toddlers and children with the take-up rate worryingly lower than past year.

Flu activity is on the rise and is considered at high levels in Georgia. Most healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning a day before symptoms develop and up to a week after becoming sick.

Another reason to get vaccinated is to protect others who may be medically unable to become vaccinated, Schlosser said.

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When someone with the flu coughs, sneezes, or talks, they spray tiny droplets. While no vaccine is 100% effective, Reome-Nedlik says it's the best protection against the virus that can be risky in children, the elderly, and people with existing health issues.

In addition to receiving the flu shot, it is also important to practice good health habits. The higher dose has been shown to increase antibody response in this age group. There is an adequate amount of flu vaccine available this season, the NDDoH reports. To get vaccinated, people should contact their local public health unit, health care provider or pharmacist. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the vaccine was updated this year for the A strains of the virus and remains the same for the B strains.

Quadrivalent flu vaccines are highly suitable for infants and geriatrics younger than 65 years and have been regulatory approvals to include newly chosen flu strains.

The Ministry said people should follow health precautions including washing hands with soap and water and avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouths.

"Getting your free, quick jab is the single most effective way of preventing flu, so my message to my colleagues is simple: let's do our duty, and take this easy but important step to protect our patients, and ourselves, this winter". Flu activity also typically peaks between December and February.

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