FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. --
This year’s flu season has been dominated by Influenza A, subtype H3N2, a particularly nasty strain that is linked to more severe illnesses, especially among adults over the age of 65 and children younger than the age of 5.
Rest assured, it’s not too late to get a flu shot to protect you, your loved ones and people around you.
Flu shots are available at the 92nd Medical Group. The current vaccine protects against four strains of flu viruses, two strains of Influenza A and two strains of Influenza B.
This flu season is sickening and hospitalizing Americans at rates not seen in nearly a decade. We could potentially see several more weeks of increased flu activity according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Peak flu activity has occurred in February or later in 59 percent of previous influenza seasons.
According to the latest data from the CDC, the percentage of people seeking healthcare with flu-like illness is just over seven percent of the population and is considered to be on par with the 2009 Swine Flu Pandemic. In Spokane County, the local health department has reported more than 400 lab-confirmed influenza hospitalizations since September. Twenty-one deaths have been reported in Washington so far during this flu season.
The CDC recommend influenza vaccination for all people six months of age and older since flu viruses are more than likely to continue circulating from person to person. People who get vaccinated are less likely to get sick or hospitalized because of the flu than someone who doesn’t get vaccinated.
Additional preventive steps you can take to avoid getting the flu include:
1) Frequent and proper hand washing
2) Avoiding people who are sick
3) Covering coughs and sneezes
4) Staying home if you are ill to avoid the spread of germs, especially if your symptoms include having a fever
Protect yourself and your family by getting vaccinated as soon as possible.
For more information about the Influenza Vaccine, contact the Fairchild Air Force Base Public Heath Office at (509) 247-5757 or visit the Center for Disease Control website at https://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm