REGION (WGGB) — A message today from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They say to get your flu shots now and they say this year’s flu season could start in October, so now’s the time to prepare. .
“There’s no way for us to really predict exactly when the flu is going to hit, but we’re certainly in the prime season for it to be developing anytime in the next several weeks,” says Dr. Marie Vitale.
Vitale is the medical director for Doctors Express. She says everyone six months and older should get a flu shot.
“It’s recommended for everybody, but it’s most important for people over 65 because that’s where we see most of our influenza illnesses, hospitalizations, deaths,” Vitale explains.
Vitale also notes that it’s important for people with chronic diseases like diabetes or who have a compromised immune system, rheumatoid arthritis, those with auto immune disorders and children under the age of 2 to get a flu shot, and that group also includes pregnant women.
“It’s very important for pregnant women to get the flu vaccine because they’re another high risk group for having complications for influenza,” Vitale adds.
Medical authorities can’t predict how bad a flu season it will be, but if last year is any indication, we could be in for a long winter.
Vitale notes, “Last year, we had a very robust flu season and it started probably November through March, so the sooner you had the vaccine, the sooner you will have protection.”
The flu cause death among those who are compromised and each year some 200,000 people have to be hospitalzied as the result of the flu.