EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSFLU OUTBREAK
from Eyewitness News Online
Doctors, Pharmacists Urge Flu Shots
Reported by: Katy Brown
Videographer: Katy Brown
Web Producer: Katy Brown
Reported: Jan. 2, 2013 8:10 PM EST
Updated: Jan. 2, 2013 8:21 PM EST
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
This flu season is one of the worst flu outbreaks in recent years.
"The flu season this year is actually pretty bad," said Dr. Rahul Gupta of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, "It's turning out to be a pretty aggressive flu season since the H1N1 pandemic in 2009 and ."
And in order for you to stay healthy, doctors and pharmacists are urging everyone to get their flu shots.
"We've had one of of best years this year in immunizing patients in the pharmacy," said Bill McFarland of Loop Pharmacy.
Flu season usually runs from October through February and sometimes on into March.
Doctor Gupta says typically the outbreak peaks at the end of January, but this year is different.
"We started early this year. The flu cases started peaking early," said Gupta, "And we have not peaked off right now, we have not leveled off yet."
With higher flu cases and that number still rising, doctors say it's more important now than ever to get a flu shot.
"People can walk in any time and ask for and get a flu shot," said McFarland, "So the issue of not getting it because they can't get it are gone. If you don't want to be sick 3 weeks, 4 weeks, 3 months, get the flu shot."
And that one simple step that can keep you healthy throughout the season.
"The most important message is this, we know that every time we have a bad outbreak of the flu, like we're having right now, you know, hundreds of people die, if not thousands," said Gupta, "So right now is a good time. If you haven't already, go ahead and get your flu shot. There's a very good likelihood that you will be protected."
Flu shots are still available at both the health department and Loop Pharmacy in St. Albans.
Doctor Gupta says it is especially important for those over the age of 65 and those who may already have a low immune system, like children, those with cancer, and women who are pregnant, to get the flu shot this year.
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