Flu season ramps up, health officials urging people to get vaccinated

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WKU and Graves Gilbert Clinic sent an email to the WKU community encouraging all students, faculty and staff to get the flu vaccine in order to prevent spreading the virus on campus.

"It's still available and we recommend getting it because if you do wind up getting the flu sometimes the symptoms aren't as bad as they would be if you had not had the vaccination", said Ingram.

The number of people in MA who've come down with the flu this season is more than four times greater than last winter, and the northeast corner of the state is one of the hardest hit regions, according to public health officials.

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"Influenza is a potentially deadly disease, and getting vaccinated is the best thing New Yorkers can do to protect themselves and those around them, followed by good hand hygiene", said New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. There have also been 21 flu-related deaths so far this season. "It's a common illness that can spread quickly from person to person".

Flu activity is now widespread in every state in the Lower 48, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While most people recover at home from the flu in less than a week, doctors say people who have symptoms including chest pains, difficulty in breathing or mental confusion should seek medical help.

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Get the latest health and science news, plus: burning questions and expert tips. The only way to tell for sure is to take a laboratory test at a doctor's office, but that's not always needed for treatment. And if you've suffered from one strain, you're still susceptible to infection from another, says Dr. Bouvier.

So, a toast, to health, to increased awareness of influenza and a year of staying free of flu!

'If you're exposed to germs throughout the day, and if your body is not recharged, you're more likely to get sick, ' Brantner explained. Some of it has to do with data from the Australian flu season, which found the virus to be widespread and the vaccine to be not as effective as it's been in years past.

ADPH is now offering free walk-in flu shot clinics across the state. Antivirals work best when administered within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms and are particularly important for pregnant women and people with chronic health conditions.

Ensure that NY continues to have an adequate supply of flu vaccine and remaining in close communication with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regarding vaccine availability. "[Australia] had a really heavy flu season".

The epidemic is primarily due to the spike in the Influenza A strain (H3N2), which can cause a more severe illness and leads to more hospitalizations, especially in children and older adults.