April 23, 2018

Free flu shot clinics open on Friday

17 February 2018, 12:41 | Franklin Nunez

Interim U.S. data show the influenza vaccine has been only 36% effective overall and only 25% effective against the predominant Influenza A strain

Image of vaccine

Flu shots are still available at the Laurel County Health Department and those still interested in getting a flu shot from their own doctor should check to see if those are still available. Health officials are also reminding clinicians to promptly treat flu patients - particularly young children and those who are who are at high risk of serious flu complications - with antiviral medications.

Influenza cases themselves are not reportable, therefore, those numbers are unknown.

There are 343 reported cases of both influenza A and B in Nova Scotia, which have resulted in 22 deaths.

No appointments are needed to receive a flu shot during this event. Studies in those two countries showed the vaccine only prevented 10 percent or 17 percent of H3N2 cases. This rate, however, is higher than the anticipated 7.3% pneumonia- or flu-related deaths estimated for the week.

When asked if people can get the flu from the vaccine, Frampton says an unequivocal: No. (If you got Pneumovax first, wait a year and get Prevnar.) If you didn't get it when you turned 65, ask your doctor whether you can get the shot now; there's no upper age limit for receiving either vaccine.

"Most hospitalizations related to flu are in patients with underlying health conditions.", he said. An employee at a Leo-Cedarville CVS said that location had just a few left.

While the current flu season is considered by many to be one of the worst in recent memory and has so far led to three deaths in Lewis County, Washington seems to have escaped some of the worst outbreaks, said Dr. Rachel Wood, health officer for Lewis County Public Health and Social Services.

At this point a year ago, the flu had already claimed 214 lives in Washington, Wood said.

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At this time a year ago, 44 deaths and 3,368 total confirmed cases had been tallied, compared to the 251 deaths and 16,078 cases this season. "CDC continues to recommend influenza vaccination because the vaccine can still prevent some infections with now circulating influenza viruses, which are expected to continue circulating for several weeks".

During the same period, public health laboratories tested 51,014 specimens for influenza virus, of which 84.1% (n=23,257) tested positive for influenza A and 15.9% (n=4,412) tested positive for influenza B viruses. "This is important because people who have had flu once can get sick again from a second strain". "So, the flu vaccine is worth getting", Carranco said.

The open-office trend in workplaces makes the potential for the flu to spread even greater than the past.

Clean the sick room and the bathroom once a day with household disinfectant.

There are also hand sanitizer stations all over, as well as masks for people to wear.

Three of those have been in Lewis County, Wood said.

In Maryland around the Baltimore region, some pharmacists say their supplies of the drug are good but fear that could change at a moment's notice.

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