Experts Urge Flu Shots, Worst Epidemic in Years

Experts are warning the public that because of flu season’s early start last year, you should brace yourself for the worst case scenario—aggravated symptoms and longer recovery times.

Federal health officials are calling on those who have put off their flu shots to get one, stat.

The CDC FluView report (see right) is a handy chart that tracks influenza across the US and is updated weekly.

Many people complain that immediately after receiving their vaccination, they come down with flu symptoms, so what’s the point?

Michael Jhung of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there are a few reasons why you may catch the flu after receiving your annual vaccination.

First off, while the vaccine is the best protection we have against the flu, it’s only 60 percent effective. The statistic is even worse for the elderly who are at high risk to complications.

Also, most people don’t realize it takes a full two weeks for the vaccine to fully protect you. During this time, your immune system is compromised and you can catch the flu.

Finally, there are many flu strains and the vaccine doesn’t protect again all of them. So, it’s possible for you to contract a strain the vaccine doesn’t cover.

Regardless, 60 percent protection is better than zero, so consider the odds and get yourself vaccinated!

There’s also several other respiratory illnesses you can get that mimic symptoms of the flu, such as adenoviruses, parainfluenza viruses, and respiratory syncytial virus.

Your doctor can determine if your illness requires antibiotics or another medication to treat your symptoms.