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State encourages flu vaccinations



CARSON CITY — According to recent reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this year’s flu season began early and activity continues to be increasing nationally.

The Nevada State Health Division reports 22 confirmed cases of influenza since the season began. The number of confirmed cases in Nevada is up 57% from only two weeks ago, and numbers continue to increase.

“Right now, influenza A (H3N2) viruses are predominant,” said State Health Officer Tracey D. Green, MD. “Typically, H3N2 seasons are more severe, with higher numbers of hospitalizations and deaths, but right now it’s too early to say which influenza viruses will predominate this season, or how severe the season will be. I strongly urge everyone who has yet to be vaccinated against the flu to get your flu shot. There is plenty of vaccine available.”

The CDC recommends that everyone six months of age and older get a seasonal flu vaccine. This year’s vaccine is a good match to the influenza viruses that are currently circulating.

If you haven’t had your flu shot this year, the CDC recommends that you get vaccinated right away. It can take up to two weeks for the vaccine to become effective and getting vaccinated is your best protection. Another protection against the flu is regular hand-washing, but hand washing can only do so much.

To find flu vaccine in your area, go to http://flushot.healthmap.org/?address= and enter your zip code. For more information on this year’s flu season visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/flu.

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