Flu now widespread epidemic in U.S., cases on the rise in Arkansas

Darin HammondFeb 15, 2017

Foster told CBS Chicago that she believes because a lot of parents no longer have the flu mist option, they are not bringing their kids in to get the flu vaccination shot.

At least 20 children have reportedly died from the flu.

"We are definitely beginning to encounter the peak of flu season", Jamie Swift, Mountain States corporate director of infection prevention said. To find a county health department near you, visit http://tn.gov/health/topic/localdepartments. Thus, the typical flu swab collected in any medical clinic setting is not reported to the local health department unless the person becomes hospitalized with the flu, stated Cunningham.

"Typically on average, the flu season usually lasts about 15 weeks", she said.

"Influenza is in its peak season", says epidemiologist Tanis Maxwell, public health program manager for South Central Public Health District.

Porter County charges $30 for the flu shot and $50 for a high-dose flu shot for those 65 years old and older, Harkel said.

Under the new CDC guidelines, adults should be getting the flu vaccine every year - this way both parents and their children can remain flu free.

"It's been quiet, but we could see an increase", Allen said.

The state Department of Health released the latest flu season figures on Friday.

"It would have been better to get vaccinated in October, and you may want to think about that next year, but you can still get vaccinated and see benefit from it", Brammer said.

"Wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your nose, mouth and eyes, and please - stay home if you are ill", Dr. Gail Stanley, an infectious disease physician at Bristol Regional Medical Center said.

While it isn't too late to get the shot, Gerson said people still need to be cautious. Additionally, if you feel any flu symptoms, it is smart to go to the doctor and get tested for influenza as soon as possible.

Officials with the state say this year's vaccine is well-matched to the strains of flu circulating the country.

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