Published: Tue, January 09, 2018
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

Free flu vaccinations available at Health Department

Free flu vaccinations available at Health Department

Busy urgent care rooms and long wait times can only mean one thing in the Central Valley - flu season.

Cheshire East Council and NHS England are encouraging everyone who is eligible for a free flu vaccination to make sure that they have it, as they are now seeing more cases of the illness.

So far 41,000 cases have been confirmed nationwide.

Health officials also stress that getting the vaccine can keep us from spreading the flu to those at higher risk, including the very young and the very old. Health officials predict that the flu vaccine may only be around 32% effective this year, and doctors say that the severity of this year's cases is because people in California are catching a risky strain of influenza that the virus does not normally work to prevent against.

Cases of the flu are plaguing Ohioans throughout the state, and hospitalizations are soaring.

The flu in Virginia has reached "widespread" levels a month earlier this season compared to last, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expects the 2017-2018 flu epidemic will be the most deadly since the 2009-2010 swine flu epidemic, which killed 284,000 people worldwide and 657 Californians.

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Preliminary estimates for the vaccine's effectiveness against influenza A in Australia has been pegged at roughly 10 per cent, according to a recent New England Journal of Medicine article.

"We'll take anyone that comes in that meets the guidelines".

The flu vaccine is not as effective this year, but experts say some protection is better than none.

There are many different strains of flu, but only two basic types: influenza A and influenza B, Griffin said.

Can I get seasonal flu even though I got a flu vaccine this year?

He said he has heard from patients, doctors and nurses who have not bothered with the flu shot because of concerns with its usefulness. "Getting the vaccine is better than not getting the vaccine".

To prevent the spread of the flu, Dougherty said, health care professionals recommend covering the mouth while coughing and sneezing, regularly washing hands and staying home if feeling sick. Whether the return of most area students to classrooms next week will add to the count is hard to predict, they said, although it's not unheard of.

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