Warning about flu season issued

A pharmacist at the Wal Greens on Wilson Street in Brewer prepares to inject a patient with the flu vaccine

A pharmacist at the Wal Greens on Wilson Street in Brewer prepares to inject a patient with the flu vaccine. Brian Swartz Bangor Daily News

"Even if you're young and healthy and think you might not have problems from the flu, consider getting the flu vaccine".

"They had quite a substantial epidemic due to H3N2, so there's a lot of speculation that that's foreboding a severe season for us also", she said from Vancouver.

The four most deadly flu seasons of the last 10 years - in the winters of 2003-2004, 2007-2008, 2012-2013, and 2014-15 - were H3N2 seasons, each with a particular version of that flu type. In addition to DHEC clinics, many local providers - including doctors' offices, clinics, pharmacies, college health centers, schools and workplaces - now offer flu vaccines.

The Wyoming Department of Health is reporting a growing number of flu cases in the state in recent weeks. Flu related complications can include pneumonia and dehydration.

"The influenza vaccine still provides some level of protection". He encourages people age 65 and older to talk with their doctor about getting one of the vaccines created to give older people a better immune response, and therefore, better protection against flu.

Tonda Francis, vice president of Regional Coordination and Clinical Initiatives at the Health Collaborative, said the rate of employees who are terminated for refusing flu shots is low.

In the case of H3N2, the vaccine component has been genetically altered somewhat as a result of the manufacturing process, which involves growing vast quantities of the virus in eggs.

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To find a vaccine site, visit the "Flu" page on the website of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "So you don't take it home to someone you love", Dillaha said.

"We have probably given an excessive 300 flu shots so far and we still have flu shots", Sheila Hubenka, a TB charge nurse with the health district said.

Usually, a H3N2 portends a severe flu year, but mild H3N2 years have also occurred, she said.

Doctors typically look south to get an idea of what's coming. It is spread when a person who has the flu coughs, sneezes or talks, and droplets containing the flu virus are inhaled into your mouth or nose.

Still, "I believe it's worth getting the vaccine", Siegel said. Other groups who are at high risk include children 5 and younger, pregnant women and those with chronic medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease.

This fall Harvest Drug & Gifts has given between 500 to 600 flu vaccines.

"We do see a predominance of the H3N2 virus that was common last season", Flannery said.

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