Experts predict a bad flu season for Texas

Nurse B.K. Morris gives a flu shot to Winifred Quinn during a news event about the flu vaccine Sept. 17 2015 at the National Press Club in Washington D.C

The flu can stop anyone in their tracks.

Pennsylvania is now labeled as widespread by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which means there are flu outbreaks in at least half of the regions in the state.

For more information about Arizona influenza visit the ADHS website.

So far, three people have died this season from the flu.

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As is expected, there are many differing views on the effectiveness of flu vaccines. When someone gets sick, they mistakenly believe the vaccine was the cause. Many health plans cover the cost of the vaccine with no copay.

Myth: Flu shots aren't always effective.
. Even if employees receive the vaccination very early on in flu season (September or October), they will still benefit from protection lasting well into 2018. Anyone who is sick with the flu should go to his or her primary doctor or to an urgent care, not the emergency room unless there is an emergency. So if you get the "stomach bug", that doesn't necessarily mean your vaccine was ineffective. And, in San Diego County, which has already reported 3195 flu cases and 10 flu deaths this season, officials from the Health and Human Services Agency are reminding area residents to get vaccinated, especially those who are pregnant, have chronic health conditions, or are 65 and older.

Myth: There's no point in getting a flu shot if it's later in the flu season.
. It takes about two weeks for the body to create the antibodies for the virus, so those getting the vaccine should plan to do so as early as possible. "That generally differentiates from a flu to a cold". It should peak in second or third week of January and end by the end of February or beginning of March, says McGeer. In other words, receiving the shot will not guarantee you have a flu-free season.

Fact: Each year, the seasonal influenza vaccine includes the strains that researchers found will be most prevalent throughout the season.

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Overnight, the Center for Disease Control reported 23 states, including the Carolinas, have widespread flu activity. However, people with life-threatening allergies to the flu vaccine or its ingredients (which include gelatin, antibiotics, or other ingredients) can not or may require a different strain of the shot.

Fact: Influenza certainly does not discriminate.

The number of influenza cases and related fatalities skyrocketed in the San Diego region last week, pushing the "flu season" totals to levels far ahead of the same time previous year, county health officials reported Wednesday. Individuals with weak immune systems and healthy individuals are equally likely to catch the flu virus.

The virus can live on surfaces for a long time - Use the wipes provided at grocery stores to clean your cart before shopping, and wash your hands frequently.

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