Flu is widespread in CT. People are dying. Should we be worried? | interseCTion

for as little as $1 per month you can support independent journalism by supporting Miam media on patreon that's mere pocket change to support quality local content creation – subscribe visit patreon.com slash mie um media thank you to all paid subscribers for helping to grow Mia media and for supporting independent journalism this flu season Connecticut has seen nearly 1,000 hospitalizations and over a dozen people dead flu cases have been increasing since November of last year and toward the end of December 2018 the Center for Disease Control considers the flu risk to be widespread in Connecticut but what does this actually mean for you should people in Connecticut be worried for answers mium media sat down with Mick bull doc at the Connecticut Department of Public Health well I think anytime you talk about the flu you need to be worried to a certain extent you don't need to be panicked but you do need to take the flu seriously because the flu is a serious illness and it could kill you and that's the thing that people need to realize it's not the common cold it is something more serious than that and that's why there is an annual recommendation for people to get vaccinated the CDC defines its widespread flu designation as outbreaks of influenza or increases in influenza like illness cases and recent laboratory confirmed influenza in at least half the regions of the state with recent laboratory evidence of influenza in the state this season is relatively mild compared to last year last year was one of the worst years on record we saw you know both in Connecticut and nationwide it was one of the worst years ever this year the strains of that we're seeing circulating in Connecticut and nationwide are a good match to the vaccine and so the protection level is much higher and so that's you know that is always a good thing people are still getting flu but it's not as severe we're not seeing as many hospitalizations we're not seeing as many deaths especially in children which is always a good thing but we are still seeing cases and people do need to take it seriously the Connecticut Department of Public Health urges everyone to get the flu vaccination as soon as possible but some internet users were skeptical about whether the flu is actually that big of a deal and so people need to understand that this is a really bad illness and that it can kill you and so it's not a bad cold and you're not just gonna be able to shake it off if you don't get vaccinated and you don't have protection and you do get the flu you're not going to be able to get out of bed you're not going to be able to go to work and you can get other people ill so if you do have young children in the house if you do have elderly in the house if you do see other people who do have weakened immune systems you can get them sick and they potentially could die from getting exposed to you I spoke to some residents off-camera who have not gotten flu vaccinations for the past few years and they expressed concern that getting the vaccination this year could increase their chances of getting sick you know if you've had the flu vaccine previous you haven't had a reaction to the vaccine then not having it for a few years is not going to impact you getting it several years later if you don't have the vaccine before there's no reason to think that you're going to have any sort of problems getting the vaccine for the first time you know the vaccine as I mentioned is very safe to use it's been tested the best thing to do is if you have questions talk to your health care professional there are plenty of formulations out there that can be given there's an intranasal flu if you don't want to get a shot there's a free formulations if you're over 65 it's indicated that you get a high dose that gives you better protection for 65 and older and like any vaccine you know individuals could have a reaction to it but the reactions are very mild so we're talking about soreness at the site of the injection we're talking about a fever for about 24 to 48 hours over you know small time feet we're talking about a mild fever but the reactions are very small compared to getting the flu itself I closed the interview asking Nick if there were any additional steps people should take to prevent catching the flu well just the general precautions and that is if you're sick stay home don't expose others when you're sick when you sneeze sneeze into your elbow you know cover your cough wash your hands frequently all those things that you normally should do on a year-round basis continue to do but the biggest thing is when you're sick you know don't expose others to your illness if you think you have the flu you know call your your health care provider let them know what your symptoms are there are antivirals that you can take and they can prescribe those for you that will help lessen the severity and the duration of your symptoms you can't get sick from the flu shot because it's not a live virus shot and so if you did get sick it was probably because you were exposed to someone and then you got sick before you had a chance to develop antibodies from the vaccine itself the best protection is the flu vaccine and you should get immunized every year especially if you have underlying health conditions especially if you're under the age of five or you're 65 or older or if you have those in the household if you have a child under five and sold or you have the elderly 65 and older in the household because those are the people that if they do end up getting the flu usually have the most severe consequences

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