Flu activity is now increasing nationwide and there will likely be several more weeks to go. Now is still a good time to get vaccinated since high flu activity can spread as late as May. The Oklahoma State Department of Health reports 67 hospitalizations with 0 deaths in Oklahoma as of Jan. 14.
So far this season, there have been a number of reports of severe flu making young and middle-aged adults sick and an increase in hospitalizations. It’s important to remember that flu can be a serious disease for anyone-even healthy young people who are often less likely to get vaccinated.
It is also important to understand that persons with medical conditions are at a higher risk for flu complications. This would include persons with diabetes, cancer, heart conditions, and chronic pulmonary conditions.
Once again, it’s not too late to get a flu shot. The sooner the better. An important fact to remember is that flu vaccines given by injection are not live vaccines. This year and many years past, vaccines given have been a killed vaccine. This means the vaccine will not give you the flu. It does not become active for approximately 2 weeks to give protection. You might experience soreness at the injection site, maybe a headache or feel a little uncomfortable. If you come down with the flu within a day or so after your flu shot, it is because you were exposed just prior to getting one. A lot of times you will hear someone say “I took a flu shot last year and got the flu from it, I’ll never take another.” Chances are that person was already exposed to the flu. Many, many years ago, the vaccine was live and the chance was greater for a person to develop flu like symptoms or the flu. You may also get the flu at some point in time even after being vaccinated, but the severity of illness should be less than if you did not take one.
Copyright 2016 Heavener Ledger. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Sponsor NEWS or another section of heavenerledger.com. Call (918) 649-4712 for more information.