Signs of flu season upon us, cdc officials announce

Signs of flu season upon us, cdc officials announce

The first signs that the flu season is upon us have arrived, says the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). In some states, for example Georgia, reported cases of flu have suddenly risen so rapidly that state authorities are referring to a "regional outbreak". It seems that the virus strains identified so far closely match those used in this year's vaccinations, which is good news for those who had the jab.

The CDC has announced December 5 to 11th as National Influenza Vaccination Week. The aim is to stress the importance of vaccinations and to get as many people as possible immunized.

In a communiqué, the CDC wrote:

    "National Influenza Vaccination Week provides an opportunity for public health professionals, health care professionals, health advocates, communities, and families from across the country to work together to promote flu vaccination before the traditional winter peak in flu activity."
During the 2010-2011 flu season, three influenza strains are expected to be present. Health authorities say every person aged 6 months or more should be vaccinated. Having the flu jab does not only protect you, but also those around you.

The three flu strains that will be circulating during the current/coming flu season, according to the CDCs' Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, are:

  • An A/H3N2 strain
  • A B strain
  • The H1N1 pandemic strain, which for a while was informally termed "swine flu"
The current vaccine protects against these three strains. The CDC says 160 vaccines have been distributed throughout the USA.

Dr. Anne Schuchat, Assistant Surgeon General of the U.S. Public Health Service and CDC's Director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said:

    "The new vaccination recommendation shows the importance of preventing the flu in everyone. People who do not get vaccinated are taking two risks: first, they are placing themselves at risk for the flu, including a potentially long and serious illness, and second, if they get sick, they are also placing their close contacts at risk for influenza."
Howard K. Koh, M.D., M.P.H.,Assistant Secretary for Health, said:
    "The bottom line is, anyone - even healthy people - can get sick from the flu. Lead the way to better health for all by getting your flu shot."
The CDC says that the National Influenza Vaccination Week must engage at-risk audiences - people who have not yet been immunized, individuals who are hesitant or unsure whether having the jab is good for them.

Flu Vaccine Finder, click here and enter your zip code.

Source: CDC

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