Flu activity ‘unusually low’ in the US
He said 47.4% of the adult population in Northeast Florida got the flu shot. “I think the campaign really helped, promoting the safety and efficacy of the flu vaccine. People have learned how safe and effective the vaccine is at preventing the flu,” explained Dr. Joshi. The flu vaccine can be very, very helpful at preventing the flu and preventing people from being hospitalized as a result of the flu,” said Dr. Joshi. However, he said you should not get the flu shot if you have received the Covid-19 vaccine within the last 14 days.
Doctor: ‘It is critically important to get the flu vaccine this year’
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As we head into winter, one of the biggest concerns is the collision between seasonal flu and the coronavirus. No one likes to get a shot, but getting vaccinated against the seasonal flu is vital. “It is critically important to get the flu vaccine this year as much as any other year, mainly because we want to keep people out of the hospital,” Joshi said. And that’s, ultimately, the goal, is to not let that happen.”If you start getting flu-like symptoms, you might not know if you have the flu or if you have COVID-19. “For these folks, getting the flu vaccine may be cost-prohibitive, and so we want to minimize that as much as possible,” he said.
Flu vaccines offered at schools through DOH partnership
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Duval schools is teaming up with the Department of Health (DOH) to set up in-school flu immunization clinics at schools beginning Nov. 30, according to Duval County Public Schools. Each weekday, between Nov. 30 and Dec. 18, DOH medical professionals will set up a clinic at different schools for a set number of hours. Participation is not mandatory, and only children who have a signed consent form from their parent will be eligible for a flu vaccine. For parents and guardians, who are un-insured and in need of a flu vaccination, please fluvaxjax.com and select “Get a Vaccine” and then “Click Here” to get a no-cost flu vaccine voucher through the #FluVaxJax program. More information is available on this Flu Vaccine Fact Sheet for children from the Duval County Medical Society.
Will there be a definitive conclusion to this pandemic? Here’s how the Spanish flu ended
Here are some key highlights of how the Spanish flu ultimately ended, and how it might correlate to the COVID-19 pandemic. History says the Spanish flu lasted from February 1918 until April 1920, but there wasn’t a definitive statement that the pandemic was over, according to Time. Of course, by then, the Spanish flu did unspeakable damage, infecting 500 million people and killing 50 million. With technology and research being nowhere close to what it is now, there was no waiting around for a vaccine to help quell the Spanish flu. That might have been the case with the Spanish flu, as people’s tolerance to the disease and willingness to social distance, wash hands and wear masks throughout increased.
How COVID-19 and flu are similar yet different
COVID-19 and influenza are difficult to tell apart. They’re both deadly respiratory diseases with similar symptoms — but there are a few important differences, according to Susan Rehm, MD, an infectious disease specialist at Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Rehm recommends calling your healthcare provider within the first day or two of illness for maximum impact with flu antivirals. She notes that several antivirals are being studied for COVID-19, but they’re not available for use at home. Another difference between flu and coronavirus is that we have a vaccine to help prevent influenza.
VA to offer drive-thru and walkup vaccination clinics
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – In an effort to reduce the impact of the seasonal flu and to save you time, the North Florida and South Georgia Veterans Health System is establishing drive-thru and walk-up flu vaccination clinics. Unless otherwise noted, locations will begin offering vaccines on Monday, Sept. 21. Veterans may also choose from more than 60,000 community locations to get a no-cost flu vaccine. Visit va.gov/COMMUNITYCARE/flushot.asp to find a current in-network location near you. Veterans can call leave a message, to report if they received a flu vaccination outside the VA and it will be charted in their medical records.
Virtual reality program shows what could happen if you skip the flu shot
According to the CDC, less than half of adults over 18 get a flu shot every year. Now, a virtual reality program shows you what could happen if you skip the flu vaccine. Now, researchers have developed a virtual reality experience to show people the serious and sometimes deadly consequences of not getting the flu vaccine. For Carter, who used to get the flu vaccine every year before he entered college, the virtual reality experience made a difference. One claim made was that getting the flu shot increases someone’s risk of contracting COVID-19.
Why it’s more important than ever to get a flu shot
Each year the flu kills thousands of people, but the good news is there’s a vaccine to help prevent it. Susan Rehm, M.D., an infectious disease expert at Cleveland Clinic, said in the midst of a pandemic, it’s more important than ever to get a flu shot. A simultaneous surge may also further strain the availability of personal protective equipment, or PPE, for health care workers. Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself from influenza, and people shouldn’t be afraid to venture out and get a flu shot. In addition to the flu vaccine, all the measures we’re doing to try and mitigate COVID-19 — like masking, social distancing and hand washing — will also help reduce the spread of the flu, since they’re both respiratory diseases.
All you need to know about #FluVaxJax campaign
MORE: Coronavirus and flu collide: What you need to knowIn an average year, the First Coast has about a 36.9% adult vaccination rate. With the #FluVaxJax campaign, organizers hope to increase the adult flu vaccination rate to at least 48%. If there was ever a year to get a flu shot, epidemiologist Dr. Jonathan Kantor said this is it. And getting tested, means more exposure to sick people.”Getting a vaccineGetting a flu vaccine is easy. Florida Blue will also be offering some free flu shot clinics, beginning in October.
What pregnant women should know about the flu vaccine
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Pregnant women can be at higher risk of complications if they contract the flu because of normal immune system changes that happen during pregnancy, health officials warn. That’s why it’s important for pregnant women to get vaccinated for the flu as soon as possible. It is safe to receive the flu vaccine during any trimester of pregnancy, health care professionals say. The flu mist or nasal spray is not recommended for pregnant women, but the flu shot, which contains inactive virus, is. Flu symptoms may include the following:Fever or feeling feverishChillsBody achesHeadacheFatigueCough or sore throatRunny or stuffy noseAntiviral medication is available by prescription.
As battle against COVID-19 continues, upcoming flu season can’t be taken lightly
The collision of flu season and the COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to be a dangerous mix for medical providers. RELATED | The Center for Disease Control and Prevention list the similarities and differences between the flu and COVID-19. Her doctor ordered a flu test, and it was positive. I had a fever of over 100 for six days in a row.”Greek’s flu symptoms were very similar to my coronavirus symptoms. Anything that helps to stay healthy and lessen the risk of getting sick, she’s going to do.
Jacksonville hospitals prepare for influx of flu patients
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Local hospitals are preparing now for the possibility that they could be inundated with sick people if the flu season hits at the same time as an expected peak in COVID-19 infections. The timing of that spike could turn out to be a one-two-punch for hospitals if the flu season is severe. The flu season is typically most prominent between October and February, though it can hit early and linger longer. The CDC released its calculation of last year’s estimated burden of the U.S flu season. (Click here to review the CDC’s flu 2019-2020 flu burden estimate.)
Your guide to Wednesday’s #FluVaxJax coverage on The Morning Show
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The city of Jacksonville and Duval County Medical Society are teaming up to launch #FluVaxJax, a community-wide campaign to get people vaccinated as part of an effort to keep area hospitals from being overwhelmed by incoming patients as flu season collides with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Our Morning Show team is dedicated to equipping you with the information you need, and we’ll be hearing from Mayor Lenny Curry, along with doctors and pharmacists, about the new campaign and what you should know about the flu vaccine. Below is a rundown of the coverage you can expect to see Wednesday morning:
Trust Index: What’s true about the flu vaccine & what’s not
LEARN MORE: Visit our special section on #FluVaxJax | TRUST INDEX: View recent Trust Index storiesBut some say they won’t get the flu vaccine for a variety of reasons. To find out what’s true and what’s not, we put common flu vaccine concerns through the News4Jax Trust Index. “People who get the flu vaccine can still get the flu, but it is much less likely to be a complicated disease process if you’ve had the vaccine,” Joshi explained. Finally, another myth is that people allergic to eggs cannot get a flu vaccine. Asked if there are any medical reasons why someone shouldn’t get a flu vaccine, Rathore replied with a laugh: “Yeah, it hurts a little.”
High-dose flu vaccine can protect our loved ones 65 & older
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. As flu season approaches, doctors are reminding people to get their flu shot. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the flu shot is the best protection against the flu, especially for those who are over 65 and at risk of developing serious complications. Joyce Hanson, a Jacksonville resident, said she plans to get her flu shot ahead of flu season. We always get our flu shots at Publix because you get your ten dollars card but we are doing our groceries by Insta-cart now so we both have regular doctors appointments in September, well get our flu shots at our doctors office this year, Hanson said. Dr. Albert Holt , Chief Medical Officer at Memorial Hospital, said there is a high -dose vaccine for those over 65.
Flu mist or flu shot? A medical expert breaks down your best option
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. This year when considering getting vaccinated for the flu there are options: You can either get the flu shot or flu mist. Dr. Pauline Rolle, the director for the Duval County Health Department, said this flu season both are great options to protect you from the flu. Sometimes the flu mist and the flu shot provide different levels of protection. The flu mist has been in question before. Ive heard that concern expressed, but some protection is better than no protection, Rolle said.
Learn why some kids need 2 doses of the flu vaccine
With kids going back to school were still in the middle of a Covid pandemic and what we want to avoid is having two pandemics or two epidemics going on at the same time, he said. Doctors worry parents wont get their kids vaccinated for the flu. Dr. Rathore encourages parents to get their children vaccinated as soon as possible, especially if theyve never had the shot before. One myth that doctors say continues to persist is that the flu shot can give you the flu. While the flu can make you sick for five to seven days, if youre vaccinated doctors say it could be more like three to five days instead.
To get vaccinated or not? A tale of two local families
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. According to a survey by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases during the 2019-2020 flu season, only 52% of Americans said they plan to get a flu shot. Its easier to get the flu shot and be protected than not and risk being sick. Laster makes batches of elderberry syrup during cold and flu season. Laster said daily doses of her homemade elderberry syrup along with healthy food, exercise and sleep keeps her family from getting sick. Elderberry syrup is sold in stores with dosing instructions.
Infectious disease doctor: Flu or pneumonia vaccine can help in fight against coronavirus
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Getting a flu or pneumonia vaccine can help in the fight against the coronavirus, according to a Northeast Florida infectious disease doctor. “We know that the flu vaccine decreases influenza-related medical visits by 2.3 million per year,” said Dr. Mohammed Reza, an infectious disease specialist. The flu season begins in October and November and runs through March. “That vaccine to get right now is a good idea because it will give your protection,” Reza said. The CDC recommends all children younger than 2 years old and all adults 65 and older receive a pneumococcal vaccine.
Health care providers fear coronavirus coinciding with flu season
It’s a scene that makes health care officials cringe -- knowing we’re in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic and flu season is just months away. “In certain years, influenza kills lots of people, so COVID-19 may be similar to the flu. Tawanda Washington, with the Florida Department of Health in Duval County, also pointed out that symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to the flu. “So what we don’t want is for people to assume they have the flu and not get care,” said Tawanda Washington, with the Florida Department of Health in Duval County. It’s worth mentioning that even if you get a flu shot, that vaccination will not protect you from COVID-19.
CDC director warns of deadly consequences during coinciding flu season and coronavirus later this year
The director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned a second wave of the coronavirus this year could be worse because it will coincide with flu season. "There's a possibility that the assault of the virus on our nation next winter will actually be even more difficult than the one we just went through," CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said in an interview with The Washington Post. "And when I've said this to others, they kind of put their head back, they don't understand what I mean." Redfield told the Post that having two respiratory outbreaks would burden the health care system. He had previously warned that the United States will feel the impact of the virus in months and years ahead, telling CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta in February that the virus “is probably with us beyond this season, beyond this year.”
The flu in 2020: What’s happening this year?
But experts say this year’s flu season has been anything but typical. According to Dr. Frank Esper, of Cleveland Clinic Children’s, we could be in for a long flu season, since flu began to arrive early in the fall. And just because flu season started early, doesn’t mean it will end early. “You may not have had the flu yet, but there’s a whole lot of flu season left to go,” said Esper. “Because if they’re really struggling to breathe, or they’re breathing really, really fast, we want to see them, because they may need us to watch them very closely in the hospital.”
Flu continues to hit South hard
The flu season is continuing to hit southern states hard as influenza begins to spread across the country. The flu season got off to an early start in the Deep South. The most recent weekly flu report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds high levels of flu-like illness in 19 states, including most southern states. So far in the 2019-2020 flu season, CDC has reported 19 flu-associated deaths among children. They say the flu vaccine is the best way to prevent flu and its complications.
I think I have the flu. What should I do?
If you wake up in the morning and feel the sudden onset of aches, chills and fever you know something isn’t right, but is it the flu? Dr. Englund said it’s important to recognize flu symptoms early on because there are anti-viral flu medications available that can help with the symptoms of influenza. Classic influenza symptoms include fever, aches, chills, tiredness and a sudden onset. But the flu is highly contagious, so Dr. Englund said it’s best to call a doctor before heading out into the public. Aside from taking anti-viral flu medications, Dr. Englund said rest is the most important thing a person can do to speed up recovery.
Wash your darn hands, people -- it’s the best way to stay healthy
What’s most concerning about the CDC’s flu review is that health officials are noticing an uptick in flu cases, especially among children. Of the recorded flu cases, 65% occurred in primary or secondary schools, 13% of flu cases occurred in day cares, and 9.7% occurred in long-term care facilities. “But if you put a little soap on, wash and go, you’re not getting everything in there." Esper recommends washing hands with soap and water for even longer -- at least 20 seconds -- and making sure both hands are covered with soap. Even the best handwashing techniques are often worthless if you skimp on drying your hands because germs love to breed in moisture.