Fall is here, and flu season approaches

flu-vaccine

DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) – Fall begins on Thursday, September 22, 2016. With fall comes flu season, and local hospitals in the QCA are urging people to protect themselves.

The flu “season” is unpredictable, but is usually from fall to early spring. Some years are worse then others, but anywhere from 3,000-49,000 people die from flu-related conditions each year.

“So basically its almost everyone,” said Genesis Employee Health Nurse, Lorraine Pacha. “I mean there are very few people that will not benefit.”

The CDC recommends that anyone six months or older get the vaccine. The youngest, oldest, and those with chronic conditions are the most vulnerable.

“The biggest risk are the elderly, are children, are immunocompromised patients,” said Pacha. “You know we don’t want pregnant women to get it. That’s why they all need to make sure they have it.”

This year there are some changes to which vaccine the CDC recommends. In the past a “nasal spray” version of the vaccine was available as an option. However in June, the CDC learned new data from the U.S. Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Network regarding the “nasal spray” vaccine. The alternate “spray” version was found to be only 3% effective.

Because of the lack of effectiveness, the CDC is encouraging people to get the injection, or shot version, to protect against the flu. Locally, Genesis says they have changed the vaccines they offer because of the CDC’s release.

“Well the CDC encouraged us not to give out the nasal, because it was found that the uptake of that the success of that was only like 3%,” said Pacha. “The [injection] was like 63% . So, if its not working we are not going to offer it anymore. So, Genesis immediately made the decision to go with the CDC and no flu mist its all [injection] this year.

The CDC recommend people get a flu shot toward the end of October. Pacha says a shot around that time period should last through the flu “season.”

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