Flu in January

 We are aware there are many concerns about the flu vaccine and how hard it has hit this year.  This is clearly a topic of much interest.  CDC is the common defense of the country against health threats and clearly one of the threats facing us right now is influenza.  We are currently in the midst of a very active flu season with much of the country experiencing widespread and intense flu activity.  Many of you may be have been directly impacted by this. You may have been sick with the flu yourself or caring for loved ones who are sick.  

CDC reports they also know that many of you have received — may have received the flu vaccine this season, but you got sick anyway, or you tried to fill a prescription for medicines to treat the flu, and it was difficult to do.  So far this season, influenza A, H3N2, has been the most common form of influenza. These viruses are often linked to more severe illness, especially among children and people age 65 and older.  When H3 viruses are predominant, we tend to have a worse flu season with more hospitalizations and more deaths.  While the CDC surveillance systems show that nationally the flu season may be peaking now, we know from past experience that it will take many more weeks for flu activity to truly slow down. 

Experts know that you can reduce your risk of getting the flu through everyday good health habits like covering your mouth when you cough and frequently washing your hands.  You need, of course, to limit contact with others who might be sick and if possible, stay home when you are sick to help prevent the spread of germs and respiratory illnesses like the flu.  These are the most important measures that we all should be doing.   While the flu vaccines are far from perfect, they are the best way to prevent getting sick from the flu and it is not too late to get one.  As of this last month, manufacturers reported that they have shipped more than 151 million doses of flu vaccines, so it should be readily available.  Someday, of course, we hope to have a universal flu vaccine, one that attacks all influenza type viruses and provides protection that lasts for years. But until that day arrives, we will continue to improve the vaccines that we have and find ways and tools to help Americans reduce their risk of getting sick.                                                                        https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2018/a0126-widespread-flu-activity.html

If you have more questions, consider contacting your healthcare provider or 

if you would like to speak with someone in our office, please call 307-789-9203 Evanston  or  307-787-3800 Bridger Valley

            You may also contact the Wyoming Department of Health at  1-877-996-9000 (Epidemiology Unit) or go to their website:                       https://health.wyo.gov/publichealth/infectious-disease-epidemiology-unit/disease/influenza/