Protect yourself from the flu
Medical experts say it's too early to tell but they are predicting the flu season to be much worse this year than years past. As YNN's Kate McGowan reports, two new strains of the flu virus are circulating and health professionals say they are expected to pack a punch.
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BUFFALO, N.Y. — Health professionals are encouraging people to roll up their sleeves for the flu shot this year.
"It is time to get the flu vaccine. There's no reason not to get immunized," said Erie County Health Commissioner, Dr. Gale Burstein.
The flu is a virus, which tends to last anywhere from four to seven days. Though anyone can get it, those who are most at risk include the young, the elderly, and those who have prior medical conditions.
"You are going to feel like a train wreck for at least seven days. I mean, if you've ever talked to anyone who has had influenza, they are miserable for at least a week," the doctor said.
Dr. Gale Burstein said people need to get immunized to better protect themselves.
Health experts have been keeping a close eye on the upcoming flu season, including the two new types of flu discovered for the first time in Australia. The H1N1 virus is still around.
"They had a very bad flu season with two new flu strains circulating the community that people were naive to. We have a lot of strong evidence that it's going to be a very bad flu season," said Dr. Burstein.
She is not just encouraging but warning people to head to their local pharmacy or doctors office and get a flu shot. But for those who can't bear the pain of a shot, there's other options.
"There's also a nose spray, and then there's a new flu vaccine this year. A vaccine that is given on the very superficial layer of the skin. A tiny, tiny needle and they call it a micro needle."
Dr. Burstein said many choose to roll the dice with the flu, choosing not to get vaccinated because they fear getting sick. But she said that's simply a myth.
"It's actually biologically impossible to get flu from the flu vaccine. Pretty much all the health plans cover it so if you have health insurance, you should be covered to get the vaccine."
Flu season typically peaks in December and January. Health experts say those who are vaccinated are protected for a full year.