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The 2014-15 Flu Season Activity Escalates

November 21, 2014

By WeatherBug's Tim Barnes

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Influenza activity has escalated across the U.S., with ten additional states reporting local flu activity this week. Find out what you can do to stay healthy through this flu season.

Here are some flu facts:

Starting this season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the nasal spray version of the vaccine for healthy children ages 2 through 8 years old, because recent studies indicate that the nasal spray version may work better at protecting young children then the shot. If you find that the spray is not available where you are, the regular flu shot is then recommended. The CDC says not to delay getting your child vaccinated by waiting for the spray.

Speaking of the flu shot, if you haven`t gotten one yet, now is the time to get one, as it takes a couple of weeks for your body to develop flu antibodies to protect itself. The CDC recommends anyone older than six months get immunized. Remember: the flu shot cannot give you the flu, but some side effects are possible, including a runny nose, sore throat, muscle aches, and mild fever.

Due to certain health restrictions, not everyone is eligible to receive the flu shot. For those of you who are not able to get a flu shot, there are other things you can do to minimize your risk for contracting the flu:

  • Avoid close contact with those who are sick.
  • Avoid exposing others when you are sick. Stay home from work or school if you are exhibiting symptoms.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

Below is the latest update on the flu activity for the United States:

Guam did not report this week.

No influenza activity was reported by one state (Rhode Island).

Sporadic influenza activity was reported by the District of Columbia, U.S. Virgin Islands, and 23 states (Arizona, Arkansas, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin).

Local influenza activity was reported by 21 states (Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, and Wyoming).

Regional influenza activity was reported by Puerto Rico and five states (Alaska, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, and Texas).

and Widespread influenza activity was not reported.

Be sure to keep WeatherBug active to receive the latest weather in your neighborhood and get the latest updates anywhere on Twitter.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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