Time to get a flu shot

What You Don't Know About Cold Medicine

Another CDC report published December 8 revealed that cases of the flu are higher than usual this year.

In the United States last season, overall vaccine effectiveness against all circulating flu viruses was 39 percent and the effectiveness was only a bit lower, 32 percent, against H3N2 viruses.

Flu viruses change from year to year, so it's important to get a flu shot each flu season. "About 50 percent of patients coming in with some type of upper respiratory cough, runny nose, sore throat has the flu", said nurse practitioner, Melissa Carroll.

Based on these new estimates, adults over age 75 and people living in parts of sub-Saharan Africa are most at-risk of dying from the flu, the study said, and people living in the Eastern Mediterranean and Southeast Asia also face a high risk.

According to new estimates by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, WHO and global health partners, the latest death toll has marked an increase on the previous global estimate of 250,000 to 500,000, which dates from over 10 years ago.

In addition to lowering your chances of getting the flu, the shot can also make the illness milder if you do catch it. Studies of pregnant women who get the flu shot have also shown it can reduce their newborns' risk of catching the flu by half.

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"These findings remind us of the seriousness of flu and that flu prevention should really be a global priority", said Dr Joe Bresee, associate director for global health at the CDC's Influenza Division and a co-author of the study.

If you get sick, look out for severe aches and pains in your muscles and joints, notable fatigue and weakness, headaches and a high fever.

According to the new estimates, between 291,000 and 646,000 individuals worldwide die from flu-related illness.

While many people contract flu-like illness with fevers of over 100 degrees and sore throats, and recover on their own, getting vaccinated against the disease helps prevent its spread and protects those who can not get vaccinated for medical reasons.

The county reminds its residents there is no live virus in flu shots and the vaccine can not cause the flu. But many pharmacies now offer them, too. "So if you need to be out and about running errands and meeting up with friends and family, it's wise to protect yourself-and them-as best you can". You should inform your doctor when you have been vaccinated.

Alberta has reported the most influenza cases.

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