National Influenza Vaccination Week

This actual sneeze shows how far droplets travel transporting the flu virus to counters or doorknobs. Credit CDC  James Gathany

This actual sneeze shows how far droplets travel transporting the flu virus to counters or doorknobs. Credit CDC James Gathany

National Influenza Vaccination Week begins today and runs through December 9.

"What we do know is that the more people who get the vaccine, the fewer people get sick, the milder the flu season is for everyone", said Dr. John Marshall of Maimonides Medical Center.

Infection with the flu virus can cause fever, headache, cough, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing and body aches. They're especially vulnerable to flu's unsafe complications because they tend to have more underlying health problems than younger people - and because standard flu shots don't work as well with age-weakened immune systems. "With Christmas coming up, lots of people have other things on their mind, so it's a good idea to get it done before you get caught up in the holidays".

Influenza activity is rising across the US with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting recent widespread activity in several states.

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If an individual doesn't do anything about symptoms and tries to push through having the flu, the result could be hospitalization or even death, Crow said.

The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends flu vaccine for all individuals six months of age and older.

In Australia, the number reached 215,280 reports by mid-October, exceeding the 59,022 cases reported during the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic. A North Island care home had an outbreak of influenza B, but it did not spread beyond the facility, she said. The Department of Health does not provide this data by county. There were 260,000 doses of vaccine ordered for the current flu season, and more can be obtained if needed.

If you're 65 or older, there are two vaccine options created to boost immune response.

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