The flu season is off to an early start in some parts of the country and deaths have been reported in several states. Douglas County Health Department Director Dr. Adi Pour says it is too early to predict the severity of the season.
Dr. Pour says, “We can never predict when the high of the season is. Usually it is January or February. It is getting cold already and that is when flu season usually starts.” Cases of flu typically start showing up at the end of October or early November.
Dr. Pour says it is also difficult to predict how severe the season will be. She says this year’s vaccine has two new components so hopefully it will be a good match with the types of flu that will circulate this year.
There is also good news for those who shy away from needles. Dr. Pour says, “For the last two years we didn’t have the FluMist around. It wasn’t recommended by the CDC. It has come back and it is recommended. So, individuals who don’t like the shot can get the FluMist. There is no reason excuse not to get the flu shot, not only for yourself but to protect those around you.”
Dr. Pour says that is extremely important for children, the elderly and those with health issues. There were 23 outbreaks in care centers in Douglas County last year that compromised the health of residents. Last year was an extremely bad season and there were 6,000 confirmed cases in Douglas County that resulted in more than 23 deaths of adults.