Expect a Bad Flu Season

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Vermont health officials say we may be in for a rough flu season, and are advising people to get their flu shot to protect both themselves as well as others, such as children too young to be vaccinated.

A Nov. 30 report by the BC Centre of Disease Controlsays that for the time period between Nov. 12 and Nov. 25, flu rates are within the 10-year average and detection "remains at low but increasing levels, with a mix of influenza A and B". Flu season is underway and it's already widespread in four states, including Georgia.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a yearly flu vaccination as the first and most important step in protecting against the flu.

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Laura Spicer, Executive Director Valley Health, "Thousands of people get sick from the flu each year".

For older adults - especially those with chronic respiratory conditions - complications from flu often lead to a sharp increase in hospitalizations and potentially serious illness, including pneumonia and bronchitis.

If you're 65 or older, there are two vaccine options created to boost immune response.

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People taking medication for hepatitis C or undergoing interferon therapy should not worry that the flu vaccine will affect their treatment, Lee said, adding that they should get vaccinated as soon as possible for protection against the flu. This year, there are concerns that the shot is not very effective, but experts are still encouraging people to get it.

Flu shots can be obtained at most pharmacies, walk-in clinics and doctor's offices, free of charge.

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