The Washington Times-Herald

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October 2, 2013

Time is now for seasonal flu shots

(Continued)

Symptoms of the flu often include fever and chills, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, cough, headache and runny or stuffy nose. The symptoms often present themselves differently in each person. The symptoms are also not a definite sign that the person has the flu.

Sullender said many believe believe that if they have any of the symptoms or upset stomach, vomiting or diarrhea that they have the flu. “That’s just not always the case. There are other illnesses that have similar symptoms as well.”

”The most important thing is that if people have symptoms, they need to stay home, cover their cough and wash their hands,” said Sullender.

This year’s flu vaccine is slightly different than the vaccine available in past years. Most of the vaccine this year is quadrivalent vaccine that covers against two strains of influenza A virus as well as two strains of influenza B virus. In the past, the vaccine has contained two strains of the A virus and just one strain of the B virus.

”The new vaccine will hopefully keep everyone better protected,” said Sullender. “Each year, the flu is different and it can effect people differently.”

Flu vaccines work by developing antibodies over the course of about two weeks. The antibodies then protect people from infection with the viruses in the vaccine.

Locally, the flu vaccine is available at pharmacies, the local health department, doctor’s offices, and clinics.

For more information on the flu vaccine, visit the CDC website, www.cdc.gov or contact the health department at 254-8666.

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