New Warnings About Upcoming Flu Season - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

New Warnings About Upcoming Flu Season

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Jen Turner drove out from Dayton to Renown's flu shot clinic at Reno Town Mall to get her 2 kids immunized, soon after she heard the news. As she told us, "They said there's going to be a lot more cases, the worst in 10 years, so I decided it was a good time to go out and do it."

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) says the U.S. is seeing its earliest start to flu season in a decade, with 5 states already suffering. It hasn't hit here in Washoe County, yet. The Health District's Phillip Ulibarri told us, "We have no evidence it's starting early in Washoe County whatsoever. As a matter of fact, it's a pretty mild season for us."

But when it does, it could get rough…now we're hearing warnings about how severe this season's flu strain is. The primary strain of influenza A this season, called H3N2, is a tough one. Ulibarri said, "It's a virus to worry about, because influenza can kill you."

H3N2 has been here before, in late 2003 and 2004. Renown nurse Jayme Graney knows it well. She told us, "I've known people who've been hospitalized because of it. I mean, their symptoms are so severe."

The good news is, this year's flu shot is well-matched to the strain. It should work. Graney told us, "Across the U.S., the flu that's coming on is actually 90% matched with the vaccine this year. So, it's great."

Better yet, it's an ideal time to get this flu shot…good timing, because the shots typically take about 2 weeks to turn effective, so you'll be prepared for the peak of flu season in Washoe County, which typically comes in late January.

Getting the shot is a no-brainer to immunization workers like Lynnie Shore at the Washoe County Health District. She told us, "It's just like if you're in a car accident, the time to get your flu shot is not after the accident. You want to be protected before."

Back at the "beat the rush" flu shot clinic at Reno Town Mall, Renown nurse Jayme Graney says if she doesn't see you at one of these flu shot clinics, she just might see you after all. "After they get the flu. And that's what happens year after year. People come back and go, ‘I had the flu last year, yes I want my vaccine this year.'

-written by John Potter

There are a number of places to get low-cost and free flu shots here in northern Nevada. For a full list of clinics, click the link below:

http://influencenevada.org/healthcare-providers/

 

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