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The 2014-15 Flu Season Activity Continues To Sweep Across The U.S.

December 13, 2014

By WeatherBug's Tim Barnes

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Influenza continues to sweep across the U.S., as widespread activity continues its upward climb. What can you do to stay healthy over the holidays?

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, the best time to get one is generally in the fall. If you haven`t gotten one yet, it is still not too late, though 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, as well as giving it to others:

  • 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.

Lastly, getting a flu shot is not a guarantee that you won't end up getting the flu, but it can help you from catching it as easily and can even help keep symptoms from being as bad.

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

Sporadic influenza activity was reported by two states (Hawaii and Oregon).

Local influenza activity was reported by the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and five states (Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, New Jersey, and New Mexico).

Regional influenza activity was reported by Puerto Rico and 14 states (Alabama, California, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, and West Virginia).

Widespread influenza activity was reported by Guam and 29 states (Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming).

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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