Flu season underway in northern Utah

FILE PHOTO

Typically flu season peaks in February and recent report indicate reported cases are increasing.

“It is definitely not too late to get a flu shot,” said Lisa Perkins, Immunization Program Manager at the Bear River Health Department. “It generally takes about two weeks after getting your flu shot for the greatest immunity so now is a great time to do it.

“In fact, right now with all the upcoming holiday activities is an especially good time to get in and get a shot and and avoid being sick during all of the festivities.”

Flu vaccines have been updated to better match circulating viruses.

“Last year it was matched pretty well. The strains we are seeing in the community are so far matched with what is covered in the flu shot this year.”

The flu vaccine available at the Bear River Health Department is the quadravalent vaccine and protects against two influenza A strains and two influenza B strains.

Only injectable flu shots are recommended this season, meaning mist and nasal spray are not available.

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did some studies with the flu mist vaccine and made the determination the effectiveness rate was not where they wanted it to be.”

Perkins said the flu shot is still the number one way to prevent getting the flu.

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