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Flu Cases Triple, Health Department Says it's Not too Late for the Shot

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- During the winter season, the flu can plague an area and ruin holidays. In just a week, the number of cases in Greene County and across the country have tripled. With the peak months still ahead, the health department is encouraging people to still get their flu vaccine.
You have to understand that there is still 36,000 deaths every year in the United States due to flu or another bacterial infection.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- During the winter season, the flu can plague an area and ruin holidays. In just a week, the number of cases in Greene County and across the country have tripled. With the peak months still ahead, the health department is encouraging people to still get their flu vaccine.

It is something we never hope to catch each year, the influenza or the flu. Kendra Findley from the Springfield-Greene County Health Department says flu season has been slow but that means nothing so they are warning people to get your shot.

"The way its starting off so far, it looks like it’ll be an average year," says Findley, the Administrator of Community Health and Epidemiology.

She says this year's vaccine fights three different strains of the flu including H1N1.

"Nationally, the CDC and the manufacturers of our vaccine look at what circulated the year prior and they guess what will be circulating the next year."

For many people, getting the shot is more than just a fear of needles but its a fear of actually catching the virus.

"What the vaccine is trying to do is inject that dead virus into your body so that your body will mount and immune reaction to it," says Findley.

I asked her about a few other myths when it comes to the flu. According to Web-MD, the first myth is the seasonal flu is annoying but harmless.

"You have to understand that there is still 36,000 deaths every year in the United States due to flu or another bacterial infection."

I asked another myth.

"Can antibiotics help?" says Brett Martin.

"No, antibiotics can not work against Influenza because Influenza is a virus. Antibiotics only work against bacterial infection," says Findley. 

She says if you catch the flu then you're contagious days before and after the symptoms appear.

"You’re contagious one day prior to onset of symptoms and then 5-7 days after your symptoms start."

Kendra says the best way to avoid the flu is none other than getting the shot and avoiding those who may have had it.

"Washing your hands with soap and water besides the vaccine is the best way to prevent illness."

She says when it comes to the flu, the biggest concern are infants and the elderly. She says if you are young and healthy, that does not make you any less likely to get it than anyone else.


 

 
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