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State records first flu-related death for the season

27 October 2017

"To help protect them and other vulnerable members of our communities like infants, young children, pregnant women, and people with underlying health conditions, we encourage everyone to get the flu vaccine".

IPSWICH children are now eligible for a free flu vaccine. Still, some infectious disease experts in the US have noted that, so far, the May-October flu season in Australia has produced more than twice the number of known cases than the previous season, and our flu season is often similar to Australia's. "You are actually better off getting the vaccine as soon as it's available because flu season starts early some years". To receive a flu shot, participants should be feeling well on the day of the flu shot exercise and must complete a brief health screening to ensure they can safely receive a flu vaccine.

The provincial influenza program officially got underway on October 23 with flu shot clinics now available across Alberta including ones in Stettler. Three of them were hospitalized due to the illness.

Last season, a total of 1,653 Albertans were admitted to hospital with lab-confirmed influenza with 64 people dying. If you feel like you are going to faint (it happens), you may want to lay down on an exam table to get your vaccine.

Locally, flu activity this year has been described as sporadic, however, state epidemiologist Zack Moore, MD, says the number of cases should begin to increase in the coming weeks.

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Even North Carolina First Lady Kristin Cooper joined in with the encouragement, asking residents to be proactive and get their flu vaccination.

Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand cleaner. Germs spread this way.

Most people who are infected with influenza can develop high fevers, chills, body aches, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, loss of appetite, diarrhea and vomiting that usually lasts 10 days, according to Dr. Gale Burstein, commissioner of the Erie County Health Department.

This year's vaccine targets two Influenza A strains and one Influenza B strain.

Local pharmacies and physician offices are offering the flu vaccination daily.

State records first flu-related death for the season