Rutgers reminds students to vaccinate amid heaviest influenza season in years


No one knows when this long influenza season will peak, so the CDC says it is not too late for adults and children to get the flu shot, adding the vaccination may now provide some relief. Other ways to prevent getting the flu, use a humidifier to keep the humidity at 30 to 50 percent since the virus survives best in dry air.

"Being around so many people at school and at work makes me very nervous about getting the flu, so I am trying to do everything I can to make sure I don't".

Still, anyone can be affected by the flu and there are steps everyone can take to prevent its spread. Schuchat said if you haven't gotten the flu, you should be on guard.

In the USA, annual flu shots are recommended for everyone age 6 months or older.

This year's flu season is shaping up to become the worst in recent years, causing a record number of hospitalizations across the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Even though this year's vaccination has been shown to be only 17-percent effective against the flu, health officials continue to urge people to get vaccinated because the shot offers at least some protection.

The CDC said there are several strains of flu making people sick this winter.

Hospital stays because of the flu also increased. These droplets can get into the mouths or noses of people nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs, or linger on surfaces nearby.

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If you appear to have flu symptoms, you should stay at home and avoid contact with other people, except to get medical attention. Children are also to be kept a close eye on, as they are similarly susceptible to the virus. Strain B is also much harder to vaccinate as it mutates about two to three times more slowly than strain A.

"Proper hand washing is the best technique for keeping flu from spreading". If you need a timer, experts recommend humming the "Happy Birthday" song from beginning to end twice. Doorknobs, countertops, airplane tray tables, computer keyboards and phones can silently transfer germs from one person to another.

Ahmad says it's important that everyone understands that flu can be especially risky in young children and the elderly and anyone with a history of heart problems and lung problems. "Cover the cough, but not with the hand, otherwise you're just putting a whole bunch of virus onto the hand".

If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands. Do not share eating utensils or drink after others, as this can all spread the flu (even if symptoms are not yet being exhibited).

They are conducting their next flu shot clinic this Saturday, February 10, from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m., at the North Branford fire department EMS Headquarters, at 1315 Middletown Avenue in Northford.

Take anti-viral drugs if your doctor prescribes them.

Canada's flu season so far has been milder with more of a mix of strains.