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Preventing the flu this season

Preventing the flu this season

Symptoms of the flu include fever, headache, body aches, sore throat, dry cough and fatigue. The flu, short for influenza, is a respiratory disease caused by the influenza virus. Flu activity has increased statewide, along with the number of hospitalization due to flu-related illness.

Flu vaccines are prepared to act against influenza viruses that researchers have statistically found to be more prevalent. Children under 6 months can not get a flu shot, in addition to those who have previously had a severe allergic reaction to a flu vaccine.

County health officials said flu data for the first week of January will be available on Wednesday.

This year's flu season is off to a mild start, though there was an uptick of cases reported nationwide and in Alaska during the last two weeks of the year. "I would encourage people to get the vaccine", Maron said.

The CDC says so far this year's flu shot seems to be well matched against the prevalent strains out there. The flu vaccine industry has exploded to a four-billion-dollar global business in 2015, after the CDC expanded its recommendation of annual vaccines to every American older than 6 months in 2010.

"It's important for people to get the flu shot", Dr. "So, if there are any folks out there who have not yet had the vaccine, now would be the time to get vaccinated because this virus is going to be out there circulating for several months and there's still time to be protected".

"It's something that's preventable", Nesheiwat said. People can also protect themselves with frequent hand washing, eating a balanced diet and getting plenty of rest.

"That was nice to see", she said. "There are a lot that mimic the flu", Maron said.

"You can't get influenza from the influenza vaccination", Fountaine said, with Hoffmann noting it takes a couple weeks for a vaccinated individual to become protected.

Health experts advise people to sneeze and cough into their elbow, wash their hands regularly and stay home if sick.

A 65-year-old Napa County resident died on Thursday from an influenza virus infection, Napa County Public Health reported Friday.

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