National Influenza Week stresses importance of vaccinations

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - More than 7,000  cases of the flu have already been confirmed in the U.S.

This week more than ever the Center for Disease Control is encouraging everyone to get vaccinated.

This week is influenza awareness week and with three months of flu season left the goal is to stop those numbers from going up.

This fall Harvest Drug & Gifts has given between 500 to 600 flu vaccines. A number, Joe Beard, a pharmacist said they only expect to go up in the next couple of months.

"Everyone should get vaccinated every year it's for the best for them and for everyone as a whole," Beard. "The people who are most vulnerable are the elderly and children and women who are pregnant."

The number of flu vaccines given out at the Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health District is also up.

"We have probably given an excessive 300 flu shots so far and we still have flu shots," Sheila Hubenka, a TB charge nurse with the health district said.

More than 148 million doses of flu vaccine have been given out nationwide.

All in hopes of not catching the contagious respiratory illness that's often confused with the common cold.

"The difference is the cold is going to last about two weeks and you may not have the achiness that you have a long with the flu," Hubenka said.

The flu usually comes on suddenly and often with a fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, and headaches.

Some people may even experience vomiting and diarrhea. Something we all want to avoid but remember even the shot takes time to take effect.

"When you get your flu shot it can take up to two or three weeks for your body to fully go through the process. It's best to get it now and not wait until the flu is more widespread," Beard said.

Other than the vaccine you should also take preventive actions every day to stop the spread of germs like, washing your hands, covering your cough or sneeze and avoiding close contact with people who are sick.

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