Morgan County Health Department

New & Noteworthy

Tis the season... Flu shots are still available!

"...Even though we are at our peak of the season, there are still likely 11 to 13 weeks left to go, which means IT IS NOT TOO LATE TO GET A FLU VACCINATION."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) latest flu activity report, the influenza virus is now widespread in every state, except Hawaii. CNN reported with the headline, "Flu stomps the nation, overwhelming ERs and leaving 20 children dead ," with a quote from Dr. Dan Jernigan, director of CDC's influenza branch, "Flu is everywhere in the US right now. This is the first year we've had the entire continental US at the same level at the same time."

On January 11th, Kay Ivey, the Governor of Alabama, issued a state public health emergency, as the influenza outbreak has impacted a large portion of the state, causing hospitals to be overwhelmed. USA Today reported with the headline, "Flu has killed 20 children already this season." The report goes on to highlight the severity of the predominant influenza strain that is circulating: H3N2. This particular strain is associated with severe illness, especially in children and the elderly. The article also points out that even though we are at the peak of the season, there are still likely 11 to 13 weeks left to go, which means it is not too late to get a flu vaccination.

The New York Times published an article on Monday, January 15th, titled "Still Not Convinced You Need a Flu Shot? First, It's Not All About You." This report highlighted that while the average healthy adult aged 18-50 years of age may not be at risk for contracting the flu, and therefore doesn't believe there is a need to get vaccinated, is missing a key point. "You don't get immunized just to protect yourself. You also get immunized to protect those who can't protect themselves." In the last week, doctors have seen an uptick in flu-related visits while the rate of flu hospitalizations has nearly doubled. The most recent hospitalization rate for flu was 22.7 per 100,000 people, up from 13.7 per 100,000 last week.

~Email from FFF Enterprises