Cold and Flu Season Takes Nasty Turn In Bloomington-Normal

Health officials are seeing an increase in flu cases in Connecticut

As cases of influenza across Washington increase, officials at the state Department of Health are urging people to get a flu shot now.

The winter flu season has started and will probably peak in the next three to six weeks, according to the Health Service Executive.

Increased activity for the flu began earlier this season than usual in Kentucky and is expected to continue for several months. ADH noted that it only receives "a fraction" of the actual flu cases, so the overall burden of the illness could be higher.

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Hospital administrators contend that most local health care professionals and numerous national organizations are united in the belief that requiring a vaccine or a mask protects patients not only from the flu but life-threatening complications.

Brown said flu vaccinations at the health department are trending down, but with so many pharmacies and urgent care centers in the area offering shots, she believes the total number of people getting vaccinated is about normal. Also, experts suggest getting the flu shot.

"I can come up with studies that say Vitamin D is more effective against influenza than a vaccine", said a nurse.

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Government officials contend the viruses in flu shots are killed during the production of a vaccine, which means they can not cause infection.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends flu shots annually for everyone at least 6 months old. "This is a tragic reminder that the flu still kills", said county public health official Cameron Kaiser, MD, in a statement.

"For those most at risk - the very young, vulnerable adults, pregnant women and the elderly, flu can be very serious". Symptoms include fever, body aches, chills and a cough or sore throat. Every November and December, things ramp up on the flu front and despite our best efforts, it is easy to catch whatever flu happens to be circulating through the population.

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Other suggestions for staying healthy include frequent hand-washing, using hand sanitizers, staying away from sick people, avoiding touching the eyes, nose or mouth, and cleaning commonly touched surfaces.

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