Join Blue and Prevent the Flu - National Influenza Vaccination Week

Springfield-Greene County Health Department

Credit Scott Harvey KSMU

The CDC suggests everyone six month old or older get a flu shot each year.

Raney said the numbers are a gauge but don't always give an accurate prediction of how bad a flu season will be or when it will peak. Dr. William Schaffner, who is involved in the CDC's flu surveillance network in Tennessee, has noticed cases of influenza picking up "dramatically" in the last week.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention releases a weekly flu report where it tracks flu activity across the country.

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Millions of Americans will get the flu vaccine this year.

While 10% seems low, "flu vaccines are usually only about 40% to 60% effective in the best of years", said Martin Hirsch, an infectious disease physician at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

"Every year, there are deaths from influenza and pneumonia, and certainly, influenza is something to be concerned about", Sweeney said.

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This week is National Influenza Vaccination Week, and the county said in a news release Tuesday that it takes about two weeks for the flu shot to be fully effective.

The Journal noted that another factor in the vaccine's ineffectiveness this year is the way it's made, using eggs to grow the strains.

"I don't want to risk getting it myself because as far as what I've seen them go through it's a pretty bad deal and I don't want to feel like that, let alone bring it home to my kids or my family", Chamberlin said. Other regions are reporting regional or localized outbreaks. Experts worry because the H3N2 portion of the vaccine used here in the U.S.is identical to the one used in Australia. These remedies can help you recover quicker, and can potentially prevent you from being hospitalized with flu complications.

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Cover - Cover your cough or sneeze with your arm or a disposable tissue.

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