Have a long-term health condition? Get a flu vaccine!

Ruben Fields
December 3, 2019

"The vaccine will safeguard children against the flu virus, but if they do not get the flu shot and they become infected, there is no cure".

Anna Hartley, director of public health in Wakefield, said influenza is now circulating in the United Kingdom, especially in the north of the country. Although the majority of hospitalizations and deaths occur in people 65 years and older, healthy young children and adults can have severe disease or even die from the flu.

Although vaccines have eliminated various infectious diseases, such as smallpox, polio, and measles, the flu vaccines remain an exception due to varied effectiveness - person to person, and time to time. Everyone ages 6 months and older should get vaccinated, according to the North Dakota Department of Health.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's weekly FluView report, released Monday, 2.9 percent of all visits to healthcare providers across the country for the week ending November 23 were related to influenza, up from 2.5 percent the previous week.

It is too early in the season to determine how effective the current vaccine might be against active flu strains, Schlosser said.

In addition to receiving the flu shot, it is also important to practice good health habits. Always wash hands before eating, and after coughing, sneezing, spending time outside, touching animals, using the bathroom, or changing a baby's diaper.

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Avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

The flu vaccine takes about two weeks once administered to provide full protection.

Last year, the NDDoH considered the peak to be the last week of March, although the previous year, 2017-18, saw a peak at the end of January and a higher number of total cases, with 8,498.

National Influenza Vaccination, organized by the CDC, is a time used to highlight the importance of continuing flu vaccination through the holiday season and beyond.

NHS England said the most successful NHS trusts encouraged staff uptake of the vaccine through roving clinics and badge stickers to reinforce positive messaging. To find a place near you to get a flu vaccine, visit HealthMap Vaccine Finder.

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