"It is not too late to get vaccinated", Dr. Eden Wells, the state's chief medical executive, said in a Wednesday statement. It has been worse than usual, with elevated hospitalizations and more than 50 influenza-related child deaths across the country.
It is important to mention that there are multiple symptoms that can serve as indications for both the common cold and the flu.
Some will question the validity of taking a flu shot when reports have indicated this year's vaccine is not as effective as hoped.
MDHHS urges residents to make sure they protect themselves and their families against getting flu this season.
Officials say anyone who hasn't received the flu shot yet can do so for free at public health departments in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmore Murray, Pickens, and Whitfield counties.
As the current flu season unfolds, health officials locally and nationally continue to see the number of cases and deaths rise, with a level of uncertainty as to if the season has reached its peak.
During the week of January 21- 27, more than 9,000 flu cases were reported in Missouri and a total of 66,373 have been reported statewide since flu season started in October.
In New York, the CDC confirmed yesterday that flu made two new victims.
So far, 35,200 influenza diagnostic tests have been reported with 6,466 being positive since October 1.
For more information on flu prevention, when to call a doctor and facts, visit the CDC Website and the UNM Health Sciences webpage.
Also, if you're anxious that taking the flu shot will give you the flu, don't worry.
Flu symptoms are present for 5-7 days, however, you are contagious a day before you show symptoms. Some who get a flu shot experience low-grade fever, headache and muscle ache, but these tend to be less severe than the flu.
"When we get to 500, it really taxes the space we have", Barbera said.
According to their website, the only situation where a person can not receive a flu shot from Health & Wellness is if they are under 18 or pregnant.
Avoid close contact with sick people.
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