Health officials say it is not too late to get the flu shot

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("ph_so_6_Retiree" by Fort George G. Meade Public Affairs Office, CC BY 2.0)

With spring approaching it is easy to forget about the flu season.  Health officials say that the amount of flu cases have increased and it is not too late to get the flu shot.

Dr. Deborah McMahan, who is the Commissioner for the Allen County Department of Health says “The season is not over, and just last week the state did report an uptick in the H3N2 strain. I would hate to see people have spring break plans ruined because they didn’t utilize available prevention-measures.”

There are a high amount of cases of flu across the state as of early March.  According to the Indiana State Department of Health, there has been a shift from the H1N1 virus to the H3N2 as being the predominant strain of virus that is going around.

According to Dr. Scott Stienecker, Medical Director for Epidemiology and Infection Prevention for Parkview Health, The H3N2 virus starts effecting small children then migrates towards the working class population which is then goes onto the elderly.  He also says that when someone has a weakened immune system from the flu, that leaves them more susceptible to germs like streptococcus and staphylococcus that can quickly lead to a very severe pneumonia.

Dr. Stienecker also says “that there really is no such thing as an intestinal flu.”  If you have something that effects your digestive system, then you most likely have Norovirus.

Symptoms of the flu can include, overwhelming fatigue that can last weeks, muscle aches and pains, fever and sometimes a dry cough.  Health officials say if someone has symptoms of the flu they should contact a medical provider as soon as possible so that they may be able to get a prescription for Tamiflu.

According to Dr. Stienecker, we can expect the flu season to last another 6 to 8 weeks this year.

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