Flu strain

1/15/2013

Don't ignore need to seek vaccination against the flu.

Don't ignore need to seek vaccination against the flu.

As expected, the current flu season is packing an extraordinary punch.

Health officials had predicted one of the more deadly outbreaks in years, which was disturbing enough considering the flu on average kills about 24,000 Americans annually.

With an intense flu epidemic indeed claiming an alarming number of lives of children and adults in recent weeks nationwide, local health-care providers have seen a surge in people seeking a flu vaccination.

Such sources as the Finney County Health Department report flu vaccine still in stock, but ask people to check with their provider in advance before heading out for a vaccination.

Whenever the nation experiences a serious flu outbreak, concern tends to focus on availability of the vaccine. While the supply appears to be sufficient this time, news in the past of some places running short led many Americans who likely would benefit from a flu vaccination to skip it to make sure others were served first.

Or, some downplay the need for the preventive measure — even though health officials say everyone older than 6 months should receive a flu shot. Just 39 percent of adults and 52 percent of children reportedly were immunized last year nationwide.

As the national flu epidemic worsens this year — Kansas already has had at least 460 deaths from flu-related complications compared to 1,300 last year, and the worst could be yet to come — the most important health message is to know that the sickness is preventable.

Along with flu shots, other ways to ward off the flu bear repeating:

Wash your hands often, and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

Cough in your elbow, not your hand. Wash your hands often, discard used tissues, and when you're sick, protect others by staying home.

It's important to know flu season in this region usually peaks in February, and the vaccine takes an estimated two weeks to become most effective.

In other words, it's not too late for a flu shot. Arm yourself with every safeguard possible, to include a vaccine in place to combat a particularly miserable flu strain spreading throughout the nation.

comments powered by Disqus
I commented on a story, but my comments aren't showing up. Why?
We provide a community forum for readers to exchange ideas and opinions on the news of the day.
Passionate views, pointed criticism and critical thinking are welcome. We expect civil dialogue.
Name-calling, crude language and personal abuse are not welcome.
Moderators will monitor comments with an eye toward maintaining a high level of civility in this forum.

If you don't see your comment, perhaps you ...
... called someone an idiot, a racist, a moron, etc. Name-calling or profanity (to include veiled profanity) will not be tolerated.
... rambled, failed to stay on topic or exhibited troll-like behavior intended to hijack the discussion at hand.
... included an e-mail address or phone number, pretended to be someone you aren't or offered a comment that makes no sense.
... accused someone of a crime or assigned guilt or punishment to someone suspected of a crime.
... made a comment in really poor taste.

MULTIMEDIA