Health officials: Flu shot may only be 10% effective this season

Health officials: Flu shot may only be 10% effective this season

Health officials: Flu shot may only be 10% effective this season

In Ohio, 35 people have been hospitalized, but flu typically peaks in January.

Not only has flu season arrived early, but the US may be particularly hard-hit. Reports from Australia have caused mounting concern, with record-high numbers of laboratory-confirmed influenza notifications and outbreaks and higher-than-average numbers of hospitalizations and deaths and that the vaccine, which is similar to the one being used in the USA had only a 10 percent effectiveness.

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In addition to obtaining a shot, people can prevent the contraction and spread of the flu by covering noses and mouths when sneezing or coughing; washing hands; and staying home when feeling ill.

The policy is meant to protect those with weakened immune systems or are receiving treatment of one kind or another.

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Some people are more vulnerable to serious flu illness, including infants, children, elders and people with certain chronic health issues. Health officials stress that an annual flu shot can still help lessen the severity of illness, and for people at high risk of complications from flu, it can be a life saver. "Even if it's not a ideal match, it's very important, not just for yourself, but also to protect those with whom you may come in contact - including babies too young to get vaccinated and people who have weakened immune systems".

Circulating influenza strains may mutate after the World Health Organization decides what should go into that year's vaccine. Individuals can contact the health department at 325-646-0554 for information about the cost of the flu vaccine for children.

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"The flu vaccine takes two weeks to become fully effective", said Dr. Levine. The health department is open from 8-11:30am and 1-4:30pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Numerous physicians' offices and pharmacies also have the flu vaccine available. The Brownwood/Brown County Health Department is located at 510 East Lee Street in Brownwood.

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