The Florida Department of Health has alerted the public to the fact that the flu season is coming much earlier this year, and therefore enjoins the general public to get vaccinated with the flu vaccine. The state department of health has indicated that children are already falling ill over the flu, and adults will soon follow suit in a matter of time.

“Within the last week, there has been an increase in the percentage of pregnant women seeking care at emergency departments for influenza or influenza like illnesses, and the level is similar to what we see at the height of influenza season,” the health ministry warned.

Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had warned sometime ago that the effectiveness of flu vaccines to eliminate the current flu strain and its mutated virus cannot be guaranteed, they still advised it is still better to get vaccinated because this will temper down the severity of any supposed flu conditions.

“It can also protect against other circulating strains of the virus, which is why vaccination is still recommended,” the CDC had warned. “The flu vaccine is safe and continues to be the best way to protect yourself and others from the flu.”

And according to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, it is always better to obtain yearly flu vaccination for everyone 6 months old and above. “Since infants younger than 6 months of age are too young to get vaccinated against influenza, it is important that family members (including pregnant mothers) and other caregivers for these children be vaccinated to help protect them from the disease,” the health department explained.

“It is highly advised that children and pregnant women receive the influenza vaccination to help protect themselves and others from influenza infection,” said Dr. Celeste Philip, deputy secretary for health and deputy state health officer for Children’s Medical Services. “The changed virus has not yet been identified in Florida, but the Department will continue to monitor this situation closely in partnership with the CDC.”

Flu vaccines are available in doctors’ offices, local health clinics, retail stores, pharmacies, and local schools among other outlets, the health department advices people to keep at home if they notice any symptoms in order to stop the flu from spreading.

“If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, see your primary care provider immediately for guidance on treatment. Early treatment with antivirals is important and can help people get better more quickly as well as help to prevent severe complications,” says the state health authority.

The flu symptoms to watch out for include body aches, runny nose, severe cough, headaches, and fever among others.

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