The influenza virus has yet to hit the Northern Hemisphere, but flu vaccine season is already in full swing, with banners outside pharmacies urging: "Get Your Flu Shot Now". "It's kind of early, but with rapid tests to detect flu, we probably diagnose it a little earlier than we used to", Schell said.
At The Cecil's Clinic, Dr. John Cecil said everyone should get a flue shot, no matter their age.
"The lower effectiveness in the older population highlights the need to ensure that those who might pass on flu to them, such as children, carers and health and social care workers, are vaccinated, as by protecting them we can also help protect those at risk of severe disease".
The cost of the flu shot depends on the patient's insurance. Last year, only 13 percent of college-age residents between the ages of 18-24 were vaccinated in the state of MI.
Dependents not covered by a Duke health plan can receive a vaccine.
There have been more than 13,000 cases of influenza in Victoria this year and at least ten people have died from flu related complications.
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Flu symptoms can include fever or feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headache, tiredness and some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
Professor Murphy said it wasn't a very nasty flu, but of "moderate severity".
For many decades, researchers believed the flu vaccine offered solid protection if it was a good match to the circulating strains; studies from the 1940s through the 1960s routinely showed an efficacy of 70% to 90%. No appointments are necessary for the walk-in clinic.
"We recommend people get a flu shot by the end of October, if possible". Children and older people are encouraged to get the shot in particular.
The Aroostook Medical Center (TAMC) officials are planning six upcoming free seasonal flu shot clinics in the region.
They will be administered from 9-11 a.m. Monday; 2-4 p.m. September 28; 9-11 a.m. October 2; 2-6 p.m. October 5; 9-11 a.m. October 16; 2-6 p.m. October 19; 9-11 a.m. October 23; and 2-4 p.m. October 26. For more information about Lincoln County Health Department's programs and services, visit lincolncountyhealthdepartment.com or find them on Facebook.