Flu season seeing an epidemic number of cases

By: Spring Today Staff
| Published 01/11/2013


HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – This year’s strain of flu, the H3N2, is reaching epidemic proportions with now 47 states seeing a higher number of cases than last year. Medical personnel report that the number of cases is ten times higher, with the number doubling in just the last month. So far this season 22 people have died from flu-type symptoms.

Emmy award-winning chief medical correspondent, Sanjay Gupta, M.D., who hosts his own medical program by the same name, is urging people to get a flu shot now.

“It takes the flu vaccine two weeks to take effect. That’s because it takes the body that long to build up an immunity to the flu after you get the vaccine,” said Gupta. “It’s a myth that if you get the flu vaccine, you’ll get the flu. The flu vaccine is not a live virus. What people are experiencing is their body going through that period of ramping up its immune system.” The worst of the flu season is typically late January thru February, so it’s imperative that people get the flu vaccine now.

“You may still come in contact with the flu virus and get it, but the flu vaccine will reduce the symptoms by 60 percent,” said Gupta.

He recommends these additional measures to reduce the risk of getting and spreading the flu virus:

• Wash hands frequently

• Refrain from touching your eyes and nose without using a tissue

• Drink plenty of fluids

• Most importantly…get a flu shot

Those most at risk are small children and the elderly, and anyone with an impaired immune system. See your physician to get a flu shot. All local pharmacies are also administering the flu vaccine.