The 2014-15 Flu Season Is Ramping Up
October 17, 2014
By WeatherBug Sr. Meteorologist, John Bateman
The 2014-15 flu season has picked up from the past week with eight more states reporting sporadic flu, and one more state reporting local activity.
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, October generally is the best time to get vaccinated because it takes a couple of weeks for your body to develop flu antibodies to protect itself. The CDC recommends anyone older than 6 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 status for the United States:
No influenza activity was reported by the U.S. Virgin Islands and 10 states (Arizona, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma and Rhode Island).
Sporadic influenza activity was reported by the District of Columbia and 36 states (Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming).
Local influenza activity was reported by Puerto Rico and four states (Florida, New Hampshire, North Dakota, and Virginia).
Regional influenza activity had no cases reported.
and Widespread influenza activity was reported by Guam.
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Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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