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Doctor's warning to New Zealanders after Australia flu death

Doctor's warning to New Zealanders after Australia flu death

Jessica Sheehy, physician assistant and infectious disease specialist at Mayo Clinic Health System, said that now is not too early to get a flu shot.

The reason that vaccination campaigns begin as early as late August is because it actually takes a while for the flu shot to kick in.

"It's definitely time to prepare and get ready and go ahead and get that flu vaccine", said Jill Keys, RN, of the Fayette County Health Department.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill infectious disease expert Dr. David Weber said even though that November timeline isn't here yet, now is the time to get vaccinated. But a flu vaccine from the previous season may not protect you during the off-season since influenza virus can mutate so much every year.

If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities.

Watson says everyone six months and older should get a flu vaccine by the end of October, if possible.

Some data show that calls for flu shots sometimes fall on deaf ears.

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"People who do develop flu symptoms, should contact their medical provider right away", said the Division of Health Director Adrienne Byrne.

"We are having a horrific flu season", Health Minister Jill Hennessy said.

Flu vaccines will be available at the Sedgwick County Division of Health Main Clinic beginning October 2.

"We've seen an interesting trend the last couple years where we've seen more B influenza later in the season", Dr. Itskowitz says.

Pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus and ear infections are examples of complications from flu, and the flu can make chronic health problems worse, as well. If more people receive the vaccine, the disease is less likely to spread to vulnerable people.

There are two potential options - a quadruple-strength flu shot and another that uses a chemical added to the vaccine to enhance the immune response. While all vaccines confer a high degree of immunity, the duration of this immunity varies between short-term to long-term effects.

The strain changes each year, which is why the vaccine also changes to adapt to the virus. In addition to the free flu shots, other free screenings and a wide variety of health information will be available during the Health Fair. "Getting vaccinated now will help not only you, but those around you". Vaccination of high risk persons is especially important to decrease their risk of severe illness.

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