Concerns about low vaccination rates of children for influenza in Wakefield District

Flu and other serious respiratory illnesses, like respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and whooping cough are spread by coughing, sneezing, or unclean hands. Everyone ages 6 months and older should get vaccinated, according to the North Dakota Department of Health.

CDC has not yet released estimates of how many people have contracted the flu, nor has it released data on how many medical visits or hospitalizations the flu has led to so far this season. Therefore, prevention is better than cure. Already 4 flu-associated deaths among children have been reported.

Although vaccines have eliminated various infectious diseases, such as smallpox, polio, and measles, the flu vaccines remain an exception due to varied effectiveness - person to person, and time to time. Those same regions had reported high activity during the prior week.

Another reason to get vaccinated is to protect others who may be medically unable to become vaccinated, Schlosser said.

"It stops the likelihood they can catch the flu from you", he said. The most vulnerable are pregnant women, young children, elderly adults and anyone with an existing health condition including asthma, diabetes and heart disease.

In addition to receiving the flu shot, it is also important to practice good health habits.

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A high-dose vaccine is available for people aged 65 and older. This can include your health care provider's office, county health departments, pharmacies, and community vaccination clinics.

It is too early in the season to determine how effective the current vaccine might be against active flu strains, Schlosser said.

It takes about two weeks after a flu shot for antibodies to develop in the body, according to the CDC.

To reduce your chances at getting the flu, the CDC recommends getting vaccinated, washing your hands, avoiding close contact with sick people, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

Previous year a record 70% of doctors, nurses, midwives and other NHS staff who have direct contact with patients received the flu vaccine, with most local NHS employers achieving a vaccination rate of 75% or higher.

Acting commissioner Alison Arwady says the flu season typically peaks in January and February.

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