2017-18 FLU SEASON UPDATES & INFORMATION from the Kitsap County Public Health District
“The 2016-17 flu season was especially bad for the elderly. During the 2016-17 flu season, Kitsap County experienced 13 influenza-related deaths, and 20 influenza outbreaks at long-term care facilities. The most common strain seen in the U.S. and Washington State last season, H3N2 (a strain of Influenza A), tends to affect the elderly more than younger people. It is very difficult to predict how severe a flu season will be. However, based on flu activity in parts of the world that experience flu season before ours, it is possible that the 2017-18 flu season will be similar to last season.
Getting a flu shot is an important first step in protecting you and those you love from influenza and its complications. Additional important steps include washing hands before handling food and touching eyes, nose and mouth; covering coughs with a tissue or elbow; and staying home when ill. “
GETTING THE FLU VACCINATION IS IMPORTANT
“Getting an annual flu vaccination is the first and best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu. Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations. Vaccination helps protect women during and after pregnancy, and can also protect a baby after birth from flu. Flu vaccination can significantly reduce a child’s risk of dying from influenza, and can be life-saving in people at special risk of complications from the flu.
The influenza virus is easily spread from person to person and the flu can be a very serious illness. Millions of people across the US get sick—and thousands die— from flu illness each and every year. Flu vaccine is the best protection we have and has been used safely and effectively for over 70 years.”
FLU VACCINATIONS ARE RECOMMENDED EVERY YEAR
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 6 months of age or older get the flu vaccine every year. Viruses—including the flu virus—have the ability to change every year. Flu vaccine is updated annually to include protection against the strains of flu believed most likely to circulate in that particular year, based on worldwide surveillance.”
SIDE EFFECTS OF THE FLU SHOT
“Every year millions of people get flu vaccines, which public health experts carefully monitor. Most people get a flu shot with no problem. Side effects can include soreness, redness, tenderness, or swelling at the spot of injection. These side effects are mild and short-lived, especially when compared to symptoms from a bad case of the flu. The flu vaccine cannot give you the flu.”
WHERE TO GET YOUR FLU SHOT
You can get a flu shot at many local pharmacies.