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Influenza Vaccination Week starts on Dec. 3

Corsicana Daily Sun - 12/3/2017

Dec. 03--The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) established National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) in 2005 to remind people that, even though the holiday season has begun, it's NOT too late to get a flu shot. This year, NIVW is scheduled for Dec. 3-9. A second goal of the observance week is to communicate to those who are at the highest risk of complications if they acquire the flu.

"For people at high risk, getting the flu can be far more serious than for other people," says Dr. Bart Crosby with Navarro Family Clinic. "Flu is more likely to lead to hospitalization or death for people in the high risk groups, and their first line of defense is vaccination."

According to the CDC, people in the highest risk categories include:

--Children under the age of 5, but especially those under age 2

--Adults over the age of 65

--Pregnant women, and up to 2 weeks postpartum

--Residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities

--People with chronic medical conditions, including but not limited to asthma, diabetes and heart and lung diseases

--Those with weakened immune systems due to medications or medical conditions

--Obese patients -- those with a BMI over 40

--Alaskan and American Indian natives also appear to be at higher risk

While the focus on immunization is not necessarily new, there are some new developments and recommendations for the 2017 flu season. First, the CDC reports that available vaccines have been updated to better match circulating viruses. Second, the recommendation to NOT use the nasal spray vaccine has been renewed this year -- only injectable flu shots should be used for all populations.

"Preventing the flu in as many people as possible is our first priority," says Dr. Crosby. "But our medical staff is prepared to react quickly to those high-risk patients who contract the virus. Work with your physician to determine the best vaccine type for you, and don't delay in getting medical care if you suspect you have contracted the flu."

Navarro Regional Hospital's lab has seen an increase in positive flu tests in the last three weeks. According to the CDC's weekly flu report, Texas is experiencing localized flu activity; neighboring Oklahoma and Louisiana are seeing widespread flu outbreaks. Per the Navarro Regional Hospital Quality Director, Cassie Carter, RN, symptoms of the flu most often include: fever, chills, cough, sore throat, muscle ache and fatigue.



(c)2017 the Corsicana Daily Sun (Corsicana, Texas)

Visit the Corsicana Daily Sun (Corsicana, Texas) at corsicanadailysun.com

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