Health Department: It's Not Too Late To Get Your Flu Shot

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State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, "We strongly encourage anyone who has not yet gotten the flu vaccine to get one immediately to combat this significant threat to public health".

"Our hospitals are bursting to the seams".

"Annual influenza vaccination is the best way to prevent influenza, but it is not 100 percent effective", said Timothy M. Uyeki, M.D., from the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC.

Less often, a person might get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes.

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Several counties are experiencing flu outbreaks including Collier County, which has seen as many as 4 outbreaks this year.

Influenza viruses usually infect the respiratory tract.

Marquette County Public Health nurse Jean Reynolds says there was an increase in the amount of people getting vaccinated this year.

People with flu are most contagious in the first three or four days after their illness begins.

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The so-called holiday season tends to run parallel to the flu season in Canada.

Pneumonia is a serious flu complication whichcan result from either influenza virus infection alone or from co-infection of flu virus and bacteria.

"Pneumonia can be related to influenza but it can also be caused by other viral and bacterial illnesses in children". "Flu season is in full-swing, and as the number of cases and hospitalizations continue to rise, we must do everything we can to protect ourselves and our loved ones".

Now is the time to get the flu shot. Two children in MI died a year ago because of the flu-related complications.

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The Marquette County Health Department Clinic usually does flu shots by appointments.

"[It's] likely to be much, much better than previous year", he said.

A year ago at this time, just 2,400 flu cases had been confirmed and only 26 of those were children.