Flu virus now widespread in Georgia

Kathryn Pool shares why every senior should get an annual flu vaccination

Flu season is underway, and health officials say there are signs the vaccination may only be 10 percent effective against the main strain.

Flu activity is listed as widespread in four states: Massachusetts, Georgia, Louisiana and Oklahoma.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on Tuesday urged people with chronic liver disease to be vaccinated against influenza as soon as possible, as a flu infection can worsen liver disease and might even cause liver failure.

Compared to this time past year, experts say there are double the number of confirmed cases of the flu.

People with diabetes or cardiovascular diseases have a higher risk of developing serious complications when they contract the flu, CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said.

"They are at high risk of complication from influenza, getting severely ill from influenza, being hospitalized, having a longer hospitalization, ending up in [intensive care] or even dying from influenza", Dr. Dawar said.

"Human immune defenses become weaker with age, which places older people at greater risk of severe illness", explained Dr. Levine.

If you're 65 or older, there are two vaccine options created to boost immune response.

The CDC recommends everyone six months and older get a flu shot each season.

The New England Journal of Medicine says this year's shot is only about 10% effective against the strain that hit Australia the hardest, which is the one we're expecting to get.

Flu shots are available throughout Chatham-Kent from a family healthcare provider, walk-in clinic or many local pharmacies.

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