Flu season is fast approaching. Are you ready?

Statewide at least 37 people have been hospitalized with influenza so far this season

Last winter's flu season was a rough one, dominated by a particularly troublesome virus strain.

The northeast section of the state - defined by the DPH as towns north of Boston to the New Hampshire border - saw the highest number of lab-confirmed cases from October 6 to November 30, at 77.

You should get the vaccine whenever you can because there's no way to know just how bad the flu season will be. The best way to prevent the flu is to get the flu vaccine.

During last year's flu season, 325 adults and five children died in Kentucky due to flu or complications from the virus, and there were a record number of hospitalizations. Aimee Cunningham, author of the article "Scientists Are Tracking How the Flu Moves Through a College Campus", supported how easily this illness spreads through populations, especially college campuses. Webby, who was not involved in the NORC survey, said vaccination rates are similar to those of years in which flu activity has been widespread and illness severe for many people. "There is also ongoing research to reduce the time to manufacture and develop the vaccine from months to weeks", said Mayer.

Influenza awareness Week on December 2-8 educates military personnel about the potential impacts of influenza, or the flu, on the Department of Defense (DoD) mission and our Force Health Protection Readiness.

Flu vaccines are not 100% effective, and sometimes the strain of flu circulating is not a ideal match for the flu strains in the flu vaccine. This is nearly double that of a year ago for the same period, but the DPH says these numbers are not a good indicator of the severity of the season. These numbers do not include all people infected with the flu, because many people do not seek medical help when they are sick and so go uncounted. "It is extremely important for people to get vaccinated". As long as flu is circulating in the area where you live, it is not too late to get vaccinated.

Looking at the new NORC report, Webby worries about "the quarter of people [age] 60-plus that are not getting vaccinated". In light of the evident challenges in taking legal action, proponents of vaccinations should direct advocacy efforts by pushing for a higher education in health during primary and secondary schooling. Because of this, the Louisiana Department of Health is encouraging people to not delay in getting a flu shot.

Hernandez notes how some members of staff may not be fully aware of the potential dangers and complications the flu season can bring and how infectious the illness can be.

"We're struggling a little bit by the perception that flu is not really a deadly disease, which of course we know it is", he said. While the vaccine is not flawless, it greatly reduces the chances of getting the flu and lessens the severity should one get ill. And there's other people in our state and communities who have elderly grandparents or parents, or even young children. "Therefore, it is important to protect yourself and those around you against flu viruses". The vaccine's effectiveness also can vary depending on who is being vaccinated. Every person who remains healthy because of the flu vaccination can not pass the disease on to others - elderly people, for example, for whom the vaccine is generally less effective. Though some people report a sore arm after getting the shot, the overwhelming majority experience no extreme side effects.

Many people who didn't vaccinate past year had heard that the vaccine was only about 10 percent effective.

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