Influenza: FDA Says “It’s Not Too Late To Get A Flu Shot” [VIDEO]
This year’s flu season in the United States is ramping up as most of the country is experiencing high levels of influenza.
The FDA and the CDC are recommending that you protect your children and yourself by getting a flu shot now. “Everyone seems to know that the elderly are particularly vulnerable, but so too our children,” said William Rodriguez, M.D., PhD, a pediatrician at the FDA. “Severe complications are most common in children under age 2, and all children ages 6 months and older should be immunized.”
43 states in the U. S. are reporting widespread flu outbreaks, with the remaining 7 states and the District of Columbia only reporting localized outbreaks.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, flu activity is on the rise in the United States and the U.S. is encountering high levels of influenza like illness.
“Reports of influenza like illness are nearing what have been peak levels during moderately severe seasons,” said Dr. Joe Bresee, Chief of Epidemiology and Prevention, Influenza Division, CDC. “While we can’t say for certain how severe this season will be, we can say that a lot of people are getting sick with influenza and we are getting reports of severe illness and hospitalizations,”
“Anyone who has not already been vaccinated should do so now,” Dr. Bresee indicated, “and it’s important to remember that people who have severe influenza illness, or who are at high risk of serious influenza related complications, should get treated with influenza antiviral medications if they get flu symptoms regardless of whether or not they got vaccinated. Also, you don’t need to wait for a positive laboratory test to start taking antivirals.”
The FDA says that flu season usually peaks in January or February, and sometimes continues into the early spring and beyond.
“This is particularly late in the flu season for very young children, because to optimize immune response, children between the ages of 6 and 35 months need to shots, 4 weeks apart, during their 1st season of vaccination,” reiterated Dr. Rodriguez from the FDA. “However even one shot provides some protection, so even now there is time to get some benefit.”
Flu inoculations are generally started in early autumn, as immunization takes several weeks to take hold. However there is still time to protect your family from influenza in what remains of a rapidly progressing severe influenza season in the United States.
Watch this video with answers to common questions about the flu vaccine.
Article by Jim Donahue
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