Published: Sat, November 10, 2018
Medical | By Johnnie Horton

Arizona Flu Season Starts: Get Your Shot, Experts Advise

Arizona Flu Season Starts: Get Your Shot, Experts Advise

"We are still at the beginning of flu season, so now is the time to get the vaccine", said Dr. Jennifer Avegno, New Orleans Health Department Director.

A spokesperson said, "For the public the Department of Health will run its annual "Flu Express" once again".

Everyone over six months of age is recommended to get the flu vaccine.

"The biggest takeaway here is that people who already have heart disease and may be susceptible to heart failure should definitely be vaccinated because influenza is, for the most part, preventable with vaccination", she said.

Ott says it is particularly important to receive the flu shot to protect those within society who cannot receive the flu shot as well as those who are immune compromised. "Plus you are limited to what vaccine is offered: standard and high-dose and it is only 20-30 percent effective and yet some people still choose it".

This year parents have two choices: the flu shot or the FluMist nasal spray vaccine, available for kids 2 and older.

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Avoid people who appear sick.

"Some physicians might prefer the injectable vaccine - in fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends it - but in general, patient preference and vaccine availability drive the process", explains Dr. Amesh A. Adalja, a board certified infectious disease physician and a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.

Getting the flu shot early allows the body to build up its immune system and beat the bug before it makes you ill. There are more flu shot clinics planned in the spring semester.

Ott says influenza is very contagious and can spread quickly and easily, one can pass on the flu to others 48 hours before experiencing symptoms.

"Getting the vaccine is a quick, simple procedure which is the best way people can protect themselves against the unpredictable flu virus and any more serious complications which could result".

Along with receiving the flu shot, Ott says it is important to: wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your nose, ears and mouth with unclean hands, cough into a tissue or your sleeve, keep frequently touched common surfaces clean, avoid hand shakes and try not to use other people's phones, computers or work tools.

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