Arkansas Health Department Prepares For Flu Season

Ebony Scott
September 22, 2018

Dr. Ford says the flu hasn't hit her waiting room yet.

"So their idea was to create this challenge to bring a little competition and to encourage students to get their flu shot", said Mansfield.

River Bend Assisted Living in Rochester is listening to these recommendations and hosting a community event so people can get educated on the 2018-2019 flu vaccination.

Flu viruses are rapidly changing, and it's tough to make a highly effective vaccine against it.

A study supported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was conducted during four recent flu seasons and showed that getting a flu shot lessened the risk of developing a severe case of the flu among adults.

There are numerous misconceptions and myths about seasonal flu and flu vaccines that prevent individuals from getting their flu shot.

This year VA is offering one vaccine: the quadrivalent, standard-dose product with the brand name Afluria. UW Medicine's Dr. John Lynch says they have already seen one case of influenza A which is the most risky type of flu virus.

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"If you haven't gotten a flu shot, it's never too late", she said.

All LAIV vaccines will be quadrivalent, created to protect against four different flu viruses: two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses.

Also available are walk-in flu clinics at the health department office at 1001 E. Grant Watseka from Monday through Friday from 9 noon and 1 4 p.m. throughout the flu season.

It's especially important for people 65 and older (50 and older is recommended by the CDC) to get the flu shot, since their ability to fight the virus is lower.

It is also recommended that friends, family members and people who provide care to people in these groups also get a vaccine - not only to protect themselves but also to decrease the possibility that they might expose the people they love and care for to the flu. The Affordable Care Act required insurers to cover the cost of patients' flu shots without charging a copay, although some insurers only cover vaccines given by doctors or at certain locations.

"It is not possible to predict what this flu season will be like", the CDC says "While flu spreads every year, the timing, severity, and length of the season varies from one season to another".

What is a flu shot made of?

"No trivalent recombinant vaccine will be available this season", the CDC said.

Other reports by GizPress

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