Stay healthy this cold and flu season

Bernalillo County man confirmed to be the first with flu in New Mexico this season

Every year in Canada, about 12,200 people are hospitalized and 3,500 people die from influenza or its complications.

While the 2017-18 influenza season officially began October 1, 27 cases of hospitalized influenza had already been reported to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment between August 1 and September 30. For the 2017-18 flu season the vaccines are meant to protect against an updated H1N1, H3N2, and the B/Victoria lineage. The illness level ranges from mild to severe and can sometimes result in hospitalization or death.

This approach, often referred to as "community, ' or 'herd" immunity occurs when a critical portion of the community is immunized against contagious illnesses like influenza.

Health officer Linda Vail says that everyone age 6 months and up should get the flu vaccine. The idea that people in poor health shouldn't get them is related to the myth that the vaccines make you sick with flu.

People of any age with medical conditions like asthma, diabetes, lung or heart disease, and those who are immunocompromised. People who work or live with people who have a higher risk of complications from the flu and visitors to health care facilities are also eligible for a free vaccine.

To find an influenza immunization clinic or provider near you, watch for local announcements on dates and times in your community; or contact your local public health centre, physician office or pharmacy. Masks will be available at nursing stations and/or outpatient reception desks. The nasal-spray flu vaccine is not available.

Flu symptoms generally develop over the course of a few hours, consisting of a high temperature, sore muscles, dry cough, headache, and sore throat.

"So far this year more than 500 children aged under five admitted to public hospitals have tested positive for influenza".

"Cold temperatures lead to drier air, which may dehydrate a person's mucous membranes, preventing the body from effectively defending against influenza virus infections", Director of Internal Medicine at OptumCare Medical Group Dr. Gregory Joy said.

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