Flu striking more than usual in Windsor and Essex County this year

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Nurses can also get vaccinated themselves, and wear a badge advertising this; patients may feel reassured their trusted health care professional also gets vaccinated against the flu.

"That's the strain that's a little bit better match to our vaccine", he said.

"Every flu season is different, but there doesn't appear to be anything unusual going on so far", he said.

In total, 52,000 cases of the flu were reported in 2018, compared with almost 250,000 cases in the same period past year. Underscoring the pervasiveness of anti-vaccination rhetoric is the reality that awareness of the importance of vaccines is not as high as extensive scientific research would suggest.

Contracting the flu can result in up to seven uncomfortable days in bed for a healthy person with a strong immune system. According to the health unit, getting the flu vaccine during pregnancy protects both the mother and the infant for the first six months of life. The child was not vaccinated for the current flu season. Dial 2-1-1 or visit healthvermont.gov/flu and use the Flu Vaccine Finder to find a nearby place to get a flu shot.

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NPs also educate patients that the flu vaccine does not cause the flu.

Of course, the flu shot isn't flawless - the CDC says its effectiveness varies, generally reducing your risk by 40 to 60 percent.

In addition to getting vaccinated, residents are reminded to protect others by remembering to cover your cough, wash your hands frequently and stay home if you are ill. Too many of us did not use that tool - the flu shot - for one reason or another. It can be a unsafe illness for anyone, but it can be especially harmful for babies who are too young for the vaccine, older adults, pregnant women, and people who have chronic medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease, or a weakened immune system. The other patient who died from the virus was between 50-years-old and 64-years-old.

Seventy percent of Garden State seniors with a household income of $75,000 or more have received a flu shot versus 62 percent of those in households earning $35,000-$74,999, and 61 percent of those earning less than $35,000. The vaccine's effectiveness also can vary depending on who is being vaccinated. Though some people report a sore arm after getting the shot, the overwhelming majority experience no extreme side effects.

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