Not too late for flu shots

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According to estimates from the CDC, in six influenza seasons starting in 2005-06, vaccination prevented 13.59 million cases.

The CDC flu forecast says there's a 60-percent chance the flu season will peak late this month.

Warner said people should consider seeking emergency care if they experience flu-like symptoms and have a serious underlying medical condition, shortness of breath or pain while breathing, cough up blood, can't stay hydrated, have slurred speech, are very weak and can't stand or are very young or old.

"The study findings suggest that keeping surfaces clean, washing our hands all the time, and avoiding people who are coughing does not provide complete protection from getting the flu", added study co-author Sheryl Ehrman. The number of children killed by influenza-related causes per season has ranged over the last decade from a low of 37 (in 2011-2012) to a high of 288 (in 2009-2010). The past three weeks have seen a spike in positive laboratory tests for flu throughout the state - particularly in northern and central New Jersey, and in reports of absences in schools and employee workplaces. (See, there's always an upside.) There are a few reasons that the flu seems especially bad this year, though the experts are split on whether or not it's the *actual* worst season. Flu shots have also been shown to help reduce the duration of the disease and even decrease the possibility of death.

Washington and Idaho are in the midst of what's likely to be the worst flu season since the 2009 swine flu pandemic.

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If you feel as if you're having trouble breathing, or if your fever can't be controlled with medication such as Tylenol, check with your doctor. "The cases are more severe this year than they have been". "Ten years of health", Nico's mother told TIME last week. Adults without Medicare will be charge $15 for the flu shot. That puts the region in step with 49 of the 50 states that have residents with flu from border to border. On Jan. 12, Dr. Dan Jernigan, director of the CDC's influenza's division, said that hospitalizations for children under 5 had "almost doubled in the last week". Since October, 21 pediatric deaths have been attributed to Influenza A (including H1N1 and H3N2) and nine deaths have been attributed to Influenza B.

Vaccines are generally less effective against H3N2 strains of flu than other types, which means any year with mostly H3N2 cases is going to have a less effective vaccine. Signs of flu in children can include a high fever, chills, body aches, extreme tiredness, cough and sore throat.

The vaccine this year is also less effective, making it somewhat easier for the flu to spread.

"We are still in the thick of the flu season, and it is not too late to get a flu vaccine", Borenstein said.

They also say if you have any symptoms, the best thing to do is to just stay home. This vaccine is one that may help the immune system do a better job at fighting off the flu each year.

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