County officials announce first flu death of the season

Maricruz Casares
Diciembre 2, 2018

The CDC recommends that everyone receive a flu vaccine, but especially children age 6 months and older, pregnant women, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems. In addition to DHEC clinics, many local providers - including doctors' offices, clinics, pharmacies, college health centers, schools and workplaces - now offer flu vaccines.

At least five children have died from the flu this fall, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday, as cases related to the deadly viral strain increase across the US with flu season underway.

Both the flu shot and the nasal flu vaccine work really well to keep you from getting ill.

National Influenza Vaccination Week emphasizes the importance of receiving an annual flu vaccination.

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Flu season typically runs from October through May and frequently peaks in February. "As it gets colder and people spend more time indoors, it is crucial that seniors get vaccinated to prevent the spread of infection in their communities". Making sure that you - and those in these vulnerable groups - are vaccinated will provide much-needed protection.

What is new this flu season? During the 2017-2018 flu season, the CDC estimates the flu caused: 49 million flu illnesses, 960,000 flu hospitalizations and 79,000 deaths. It can cause mild side effects that may be mistaken for the flu, such as soreness, redness, and/or swelling from the shot, headache, fever, muscle aches and nausea. You can still get sick even if you get vaccinated, although it's usually less severe and goes away more quickly. If you cough or sneeze, do so into a tissue or the crook of your elbow to limit the spread of germs, and wash your hands immediately after.

Getting a flu vaccine is the first and best way to protect the community from the flu and its potentially serious complications. Whether it's getting young children vaccinated against diseases such as whooping cough and measles, ensuring teens are protected against conditions such as HPV or making sure those in your circle get vaccinated against the flu, immunizations help us stay healthy. This is an insufficient improvement from the findings of November's Flu Shot Monitor, which showed that 41% of adults 60 and older had gotten a flu shot.

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