Flu season started early this year

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The flu can pose a serious health risk for children younger than 5 and adults older than 65.

Doctors are using Australia as a model for our flu trends since they experience winter before us. and Australia had a different season than usual, "they've had their worst year in the last 10 years".

"Flu can be a risky disease for people of all ages, even healthy children and adults", said State Health Commissioner Dr. Terry Cline. People who think that they may have the flu and are pregnant, have an underlying medical condition or who are extremely ill should contact their healthcare provider immediately. The flu vaccine protects against as many as four flu viruses which are most likely to occur this season. Last year, many people had to purchase the quadrivalent vaccine from Global Positioning System and pharmacies, as the HSE was only offering a trivalent innoculation, which protected against just three strains.

In people who do live in a nursing home or care facility, the flu vaccine is 50% to 60% effective in preventing hospitalization and 80% effective in preventing death from a flu complication.

If Australia was any indication, the flu season here will arrive early, so get your flu shot now, US health officials said Thursday.

The staff vaccination drive coincides with the launch the HSE's national flu campaign. 57% said yes they would get the flu shot, 43% said they would not. FluMist, the nasal spray flu vaccine, is also available for $30. "The flu vaccine can not give you the flu as it does not contain any live flu virus and all those at risk should get vaccinated as soon as possible this year to make sure that they are protected".

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