Flu vaccinations still available
November 11, 2008
With the flu season upon us, residents are reminded to get a flu vaccination in the coming weeks.
According to the Carson City Health Department, influenza is a contagious respiratory illness. It can cause mild to severe illness and at times can lead to complications, hospitalization, and even death.
The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccination each year, said Dustin Boothe, the city’s health and human service disease investigator.
For those leery of shots, the Health Department also has a large supply of the nasal spray vaccine, FluMist, available to people between the ages of 2 and 49 years old, said Boothe.
A seasonal flu shot is recommended for most people over the age of 6 months to provide protection and prevent the spread of influenza to others.
As of Nov. 1, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported there were 50 confirmed cases of influenza nationwide.
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Booth said there are no confirmed cases of influenza in Carson City.
According to the CDC, yearly flu vaccination should begin in September or as soon as vaccine is available and continue throughout the influenza season, into December, January, and beyond. This is because the timing and duration of influenza seasons vary. While influenza outbreaks can happen as early as October, most of the time influenza activity peaks in January or later.
In the U.S., there are an estimated 25 million-50 million cases of the flu reported each year. Of those, 30,000 to 40,000 deaths are reported a year and 150,000 hospitalizations occur.
Boothe said though there is no antibiotic to treat the influenza virus, the flu can bring on other problems.
“Sometimes it can be prolonged and cause a bacterial infection,” he said. “If you haven’t gotten your flu shot yet, get your flu shots.”