Tips for a Dangerous Flu Season

Dr. Anthony Fauci director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases speaks during an interview in his office at the National Institutes of Health Tuesday in Bethesda Md. As scientists mark the 100th anniversary of the Spanish infl

But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone over 6 months of age be vaccinated.

"Every year thousands of people in the US die from the flu, usually from complications such as pneumonia", said Margaret Gesner, health officer with the Central Racine County Health Department.

The flu in Georgia is spreading quickly, with hospitals reporting an increase of flu-related cases in recent weeks. The Arizona Department of Health Services said the Influenza A strain is sickening most patients. There has been a jump in hospitalizations in young children and those over 50. Well, then, you should get your flu shot.

Yes, you may get the vaccine and still get sick.

Federal health officials cite the bad winter weather, holiday travel and the severe H3N2 strain for the high number of hospitalizations in the state and nationwide.

Flu symptoms are generally more severe than seasonal colds, which rarely causes a fever or headache, only sometimes includes fatigue and results in less severe body aches.

If you feel as if you're having trouble breathing, or if your fever can't be controlled with medication such as Tylenol, check with your doctor.

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It's hard to predict which strain of flu will be prevalent in each flu season, and since each flu vaccine only works against its specific strain it's almost impossible to ensure that you vaccinate everyone against every strain they're likely to be exposed to.

The Department of Public Health says this year's flu virus has been particularly severe among people 65 years old or older.

FOX 5 called several pharmacies in the metro Atlanta Friday, all of which said they were running low on the drugs.

"Some protection is better than no protection", Bergen said, "but it's certainly disappointing to have a vaccine that's just not as effective as we'd like it to be". The first and most important step in preventing flu is to get a flu vaccination each year.

"We are now seeing a mix of flu types, including the A (H3N2) strain that circulated last winter in the United Kingdom and then in Australia".

There have been 3,854 hospitalizations in the state through January 6 because of the flu, including 1,750 in the first week of the month.

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