Health officials urge people to get flu vaccine

Glen Mclaughlin
December 30, 2017

Confirmed flu cases are climbing in Greene County, and hospitals are responding with restrictions on visitors, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department said in a news release.

Four flu deaths have been reported to the Arkansas Department of Health in the past two weeks, bringing the total deaths in the state to 12 during this year's flu season. Antivirals are especially important for at-risk patients, including: kids under 2 years old and adults over 65, pregnant women, people with asthma, and patients with weakened immune systems.

The designated support people need to be free of flu symptoms and carefully follow infection control guidelines, such as hand washing. "The course of flu is unpredictable in both adults and children and it is hard to identify the stage of transmission with certainty", said Bakht Roshan, MD, Infectious Disease Specialist.

"They're seeing that it's anywhere from 10 percent to 33 percent effective", she said, "so any time there's a mismatch between the vaccine and the circulating strain of the flu, you're going to see more cases". Common symptoms include fever and chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle and body aches, headaches and fatigue. All but five of the state's 75 counties officially reported influenza cases.

'As far as past seasons where H3N2 has been predominant, there have been more hospitalizations and complications with it, ' said Texas Health and Human Services Commission spokeswoman Lara Anton.

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What's not measured, he said, is what happens if you get the flu.

Health experts advise people who have not gotten the vaccine to go ahead and do so.

If you suspect or know you have the flu, you should avoid touching or coming into close contact with others to prevent them from becoming sick.

-It's easier than ever to get vaccinated.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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