(Harlan) Shelby County Public Health nurse Rachel Birks says that there have been many cases of flu seen by Myrtue Medical Center providers the last two months. Birks urges nearly everyone to get a vaccination now, if they haven’t gotten one already.
Birks said, “For people that think, I don’t need a flu shot, or flu shots don’t work, or flu shots make me sick. Those are the three lines that we hear every year and those are all wrong or misinformation.”
Birks says this year’s flu shot is a very good match for the current flu virus and it is not too late to get vaccinated, but it is too late if you get the flu first.
“It has been proven statistically that people that do get the flu vaccine and unfortunately get sick with the flu, will have a lighter milder case with less rate of complications, hospitalization and deaths”, said Birks. “So it is like a little buffer, even if it doesn’t prevent all of the cases, it will make your case lighter.”
Birks says Government health experts say 18 children, ages 8-18, have died nationwide from complications of the flu.
“Eighteen children, is 18 too many for us to be losing”, stated Birks. “There haven’t been any pediatric deaths in Iowa yet this year, but I believe there was one in Nebraska. So if you’re not worried about yourself being sick you could be spreading it to a child, or an Elderly person.”
The Iowa Department of Public Health says at least 151 people were hospitalized statewide for flu complications in Iowa during the last week of December. Birks says the vaccine (shot or nasal mist) is recommended for everyone 6 months and older every year.
January 10, 2013