Vaccinations recommended with start of flu season

October 17, 2012

The flu season is officially under way, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS), but Lake Granbury Medical Center was not reporting any confirmed cases as of press time.

“We have seen some flu-like symptoms but no reported cases of flu so far,” said LGMC Marketing Director Dixie Lee Hedgecock said on Monday.

The TDSHS is recommending that everyone at least 6 months old be vaccinated against the flu. The Centers for Disease Control said that children under age 9 who are getting the flu vaccine for the first time should get two doses at least four weeks apart.

A TDSHS news release said, “A vaccination now will provide protection throughout the flu season, which runs through May.”

TDSHS Commissioner Dr. David Lakey stated, “Flu is very unpredictable. We don’t know exactly what this flu season will look like, but we do know the flu is circulating in Texas and getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and your family.”

The TDSHS said that flu is caused by various viruses. Symptoms include fever, coughing, sore throat, aches, chills and fatigue.

Most healthy people recover without problems, but people age 65 and older, pregnant women, young children and people with chronic health conditions are at higher risk for serious complications and even death, according to the TDSHS.

“It is especially important for people in those high-risk groups to be vaccinated,” the news release said.

The flu vaccine protects against three viruses and is reformulated each year to match the influenza viruses that researchers expect to be present.

Tips to help stop the spread of the flu include covering up all coughs and sneezes, washing hands frequently and staying home when sick.

Contact your local health provider, or call 211, to find out where to get a flu shot.

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