Not Too Late To Get Vaccinated As Widespread Flu Hits Louisiana

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“I think it’s something I need every year.”

“I’ve gotten it for about ten years or so.”

“No, not going to happen.”

“My grandson lives with us and he and his wife didn’t get it and they just recovered from the flu.”

“I prefer to let my body fight it off naturally.”

“I get it every once in a while. I get it when my mom tells me to at least.”

For years the flu shot has been heavily debated, but regardless of who you side with health care professionals agree: you need to protect yourself.

“This region is in an endemic right now. It is widespread through the Gulf South at the moment and it has fully accelerated over the last three weeks. Probably two years ago we didn’t have a very severe flu season. Last year was a severe flu season and then this season is shaping up to be just like last year,” says Dr. Granville Morse, Medical Director at MHM Lakeview Urgent Care.

Dr. Morse says right now about half of his patients are complaining about flu related symptoms. The CDC is listing flu activity in Louisiana as “High” and “Widespread” and we haven’t even reached the peak of flu season yet. Dr. Morse says as you ring in 2014 remember to wash your hands, cough into your elbow and get your flu shot.

“This time of year people are coming in from all over the country to visit relatives, or in New Orleans you have the Sugar Bowl, a destination for Christmas and New Year’s and so yes, it’s very important to get the flu vaccine. It’s not too late to get the flu vaccine,” stresses Dr. Morse.

The CDC says:

So far this season, 2009 H1N1 viruses have been most common. (Three kinds of influenza viruses commonly circulate among people today: Influenza A (H1N1) viruses, influenza A (H3N2) viruses, and influenza B viruses.)

The 2009 H1N1 influenza virus was first identified in 2009, when it emerged to cause a pandemic; 2009 H1N1 viruses have circulated as a seasonal flu virus worldwide since that time.

During the pandemic, younger adults and children, particularly people with chronic medical conditions and pregnant women, were harder hit by H1N1 compared with adults aged 65 and older.

While it is not possible to predict which influenza viruses will predominate for the entire 2013-2014 influenza season, if H1N1 virus continues to circulate widely, illness that disproportionately affects young and middle-aged adults may occur this season.

CDC urges unvaccinated Americans to get their flu vaccine; all flu vaccines this season are designed to protect against H1N1.

Vaccination is especially important for people in the most vulnerable groups.