Flu season upon us

Pearl Mccarthy
December 28, 2018

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Everyone is at risk of getting the flu, but certain population groups are at higher risk and it is therefore more important for these groups to receive the flu vaccine, according to the World health Organization, the following population groups should receive an annual flu vaccination.

You can get your flu shot from your health care provider, the local public health unit and most pharmacies for free. Last flu season was the county's worst in almost 20 years of collecting data, with 342 residents succumbing to flu complications.

The Cuomo administration says the number of confirmed cases of influenza is rising across NY state, with more than 5,400 people coming down with the illness so far this season.

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Recent national data on this year's seasonal influenza virus shows three times as many people have tested positive for the flu in October and November, compared to the same period in 2017.

And this year-at least so far-things are worse than usual, especially for children.

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Last year, the dominant strain was influenza A H3N2 - a particularly virulent type that made people of all ages very sick, but sent more adults age 65 and over to hospital than children and younger adults. "And people sometimes make light of it, but it's a very serious disease and so we're full speed ahead trying to encourage people to get their flu vaccine", says Communicable Disease Nurse Mari Yourdon.

Dr. Williams says for anyone anxious about getting the flu or having other negative reactions due to getting the flu shot - don't. The Broome County Health Department says those numbers jumped dramatically in the first few weeks of December.

The timing of flu is unpredictable and can vary in different parts of the country and from season to season.

Some otherwise healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning one day before symptoms develop and up to seven days after becoming sick.

He tell us this is the time of year you are most likely to get sick.

Educate employees about the importance of regular hand washing. People might also get flu by touching a contaminated surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth or nose.

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Recent volatility in the stock market has led some to blame the government shutdown for the unpredictable market behavior. And although the Senate is slated to come into session Thursday afternoon, few senators are expected to be around for it.

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