By Britt Moreno
DENVER (CBS4)– Flu season is here and there are already documented cases in Colorado and nationwide.
American Family Care’s location in Cherry Creek has seen five people with the flu in September. At their Highlands Ranch location, there have been 14 cases of the flu for the same time period.
The Centers for Disease Control reports a drop in people getting the flu shot last season. The CDC also reports 180 children died nationwide last year from the flu and that 80 percent of those kids were not vaccinated.
CBS4’s Britt Moreno spoke to Dr. Johnny Shen about the trend. He says those facts “are a wake up call. The flu vaccine should be encouraged.”
Shen goes on to say everyone six months and older should get the flu shot by Oct. 31 before the flu season peaks.
“The flu vaccine takes about two weeks for your body to produce antibodies. That way you are immunized against the flu,” said Shen.
He tells Moreno that pregnant women can get the flu shot without harming their unborn baby. Even people with egg allergies can get the shot, but they should talk to their doctor first.
The latest flu drug to hit the market in 20 years is called Xofluza. It allows people to take one dose for treatment compared to Tamiflu’s five-day dosage. Unfortunately, Xofluza is not yet available in pharmacies.
Shen says washing your hands, coughing into your arm and disinfecting surfaces are still the best ways to ward off the flu. Children are more susceptible to catching it, because their immune systems are not as developed as adults.