Health Official Says Time to Get Vaccinated

Health Official Says Time to Get Vaccinated

A federal health official says the flu season is definitely upon us, so it's time to take precautions.

Dr. Daniel Jernigan is the director of the Influenza Division of the Centers for Disease Control.

He's worked for the agency since 1994, and been tracking the flu for the past seven years through surveillance systems and government laboratories.

He says his division tracks the infectious disease across the United States and around the globe, looking at hospitalizations, deaths and doctor visits. Based on the tracking system, he says, they believe the vaccine prevented around 6.6 million cases last year.

He says they don't have a tally yet on the number of adults who died last year from the disease, but they do know the flu claimed the lives of 169 children, of which half had no underlying health condition.

Looking at the overall picture, right now, of the entire country, he says Wyoming is listed as a low risk state, with most of the flu activity reported in the southeastern states of Texas, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.

It's a pattern that continues, he says, and remains puzzling.

He assures that the vaccine is safe and does not give a person the flu.

He says many times people think they have the flu, but it's actually something else.

So, he says, before the flu season is in full swing, protect yourself.

He says getting the vaccine is not only about protecting yourself, but about protecting the people you love and work with, from contracting a potentially deadly disease.

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