Thursday, September 30, 2010
Flu season is almost here, and Kansas health officials are already urging residents to take steps to fight the flu.
Every year, 36,000 people die from the seasonal flu, as 200,000 are hospitalized.
Driving around town, you see them everywhere, signs advertising the latest string of flu shots available to you.
When it is 80 degrees outside, with no snow in sight, is it really time to start thinking about the flu?
"Influenza occurs year round, and peaks at certain points of the year," said J'Vonnah Maryman, Assistant Director of Preventative Health at the Sedgwick County Health Department.
Mid to late fall is one of those seasonal peaks.
"Anyone who wants protection against the flu, should be vaccinated," said Maryman.
This year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone ages 6 months and older gets the shot, one that helps fight against three flu strains.
"This year, one of those strains is H1N1, because it is expected, or anticipated to still be circulating. In addition to that, is an Influenza A virus, and an Influenza B virus," said Maryman.
One shot, that may make your fall and winter a bit more bearable.
"I've had good luck with the flu shots over the years, so I take it every year," said Tim Benham, Wichita.
"I did get sick, but I feel I didn't get as sick as I probably would have gotten, had I not gotten the shot," said Kimberly Hall, Wichita.
"It's better than getting the flu. The flu can have bad lasting effects," said Mary Benham, Wichita.
Beyond getting a shot, health officials remind everyone to practice good hygiene, like washing your hands and covering your cough. If you do get sick, stay home.