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Tamiflu and Relenza help you get better faster, but what about treating all the bad symptoms with the flu?

Is the flu vaccine worth getting every year? Yes.

The Centers for Disease Control recommends a yearly flu vaccine for people six months and older and the sooner you get it, the better. The vaccine can make you feel a little achy and worn out for a day or two, but overall our Hays County community is healthier if we all get vaccinated. Everyone who is eligible to receive the vaccine will be able to get it by the end of November, which is generally before the PHA anticipates flu circulation will increase.

Last year, about 8,800 flu patients came through Carilion's system, with the Roanoke area experiencing it's peak in flu cases the week between Christmas and New Year's Day.

"The flu is here in ME already, which is unusual for us". So you can not get sick from this vaccine. "We think that people do have a good amount of immunity against H3N2, which we've had for the last two seasons".

Although everyone can get the flu, certain individuals are at higher risk for flu complications including difficulty breathing, pneumonia, or requiring hospitalization. Since influenza activity can be unpredictable and influenza viruses can be found year-round, it is important to get the vaccine as early as possible, though it is never too late to be vaccinated.

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Ontario, which began rolling out its publicly funded flu immunization program October 22, is already receiving reports of influenza cases in some regions of the province and has recorded its first few outbreaks in long-term care facilities. It's very frustrating. I follow this very, very closely and when you see so many people, especially elderly people, die of influenza complications, that is troublesome. "It's the best protection you can have".

If you are sick with influenza-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities.

This might not be realistic for everyone, but, as much as you can, try to avoid large crowds during flu season.

The CDC states that studies show 70 percent to 85 percent of seasonal flu-related deaths have occurred in people age 65 and older, with 54 percent to 70 percent of people in that age group hospitalized due to the seasonal flu.

Besides getting a flu shot, is there anything else we can do to help protect ourselves and others?

People may also be infected with influenza and have respiratory symptoms without a fever. It's been around a long time and sometimes, when people can't get flu vaccines, we'll use it for prevention. Cough or sneeze into your sleeve, don't store tissues.

Wash your hands often with soap and water. Be careful about touching your face after you touch surfaces because influenza and other viruses and vermin can be on them.