First Confirmed Flu Case of Season in Delaware

Most Pregnant Women Are Not Getting Vaccinated & That's a Major Problem

Most Pregnant Women Are Not Getting Vaccinated & That's a Major Problem

It can be hard to predict whether the upcoming flu season will be mild or horrendous. Physicians say it's not too early to get a flu shot and they are available at many pharmacies and doctor's offices around the country.

The health department offers flu vaccines for adults and children beginning at 6 months old.

"Getting the flu shot is the best way to prevent getting sick but handwashing is a big one", Clark said. "It's not always ideal, but it's always better than zero".

Health officials administered hundreds of flu vaccines at no cost to the public. However, the nasal spray is only for non-pregnant people ages 2-49. In fact, the CDC estimates that from October 2018-May 2019, there were 37.4 million-42.9 million reported flu illnesses, and between 36,400-61,200 deaths from the flu. They are looking at the recent flu season in Australia, where winter has just ended.

Silvernail says most vaccines contain four strains of influenza virus that are the virus' most likely to circulate this flu season.

Although we're not yet feeling fall temperatures in the Washington, D.C., area, it seems the cold and flu season already is upon us. Specifically, they found that 65 percent of pregnant women in the USA have not received both influenza (flu) and whooping cough vaccines. Many studies have found that in addition to lessening the duration and severity of symptoms, antiviral drugs can prevent flu complications. Getting enough sleep, eating nutritious foods, drinking plenty of water, and staying physically active can help to maintain a healthy immune system. That's especially important for people who can not get vaccinated or have compromised immune systems. Flu also can make chronic health problems worse.

"Although some vaccination programs may need to adjust their timing to accommodate a somewhat later than usual delivery of vaccine, health professionals at all levels of government are working together to minimize any potential impacts", wrote a spokesperson in an email.

Other on-farm practices should receive extra attention this time of year, including reviewing the Pork Quality Assuance® Plus (PQA Plus®) section that addresses influenza.

But Dr. Blythe says getting vaccinated against influenza can make a difference. More than 600 Delawareans got the shot at a drive-thru event Tuesday in Dover.

It takes about two weeks for the antibodies from the vaccine to develop protection against infection.

What can you do to protect yourself?

The children's vaccination programme has been gradually rolling out to diferent age groups - with last year seeing all children up to year five at school being included.

According to CDC, it also doesn't hurt to stock up on hand sanitizer and other disinfectant cleaners, and to stay home when you're feeling under the weather. Don't spend time around infected individuals. The flu can also put you more at risk to have a heart attack or a stroke. All are vulnerable to the worst effects of the flu. You can report your own symptoms (even if you're not sure if it's a flu diagnosis yet) to help the site keep track of data in real time.

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