Oklahoma reports first two flu deaths; virus already worse than past year

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The Georgia health department said there have been 14 flu-related hospitalizations so far this season.

It generally takes about two weeks after the vaccine to build up immunity to the flu virus, so Health Department urges the public to get the shot soon, particularly if they will be seeing babies too young to receive the vaccine. The authors stated rather than focusing on short-term improvements of the common vaccine, they instead hope "to achieve the ultimate objective of a universal influenza vaccine" through using a diverse group of experts and resources.

Though researchers are working hard behind the scenes to develop more effective vaccines, you should still aim to be proactive about your health. That could eliminate the need for people to get new flu shots each year.

Myth 1. The flu shot gives you the flu.

FACT: The flu vaccine isn't manufactured with a live virus, so it can not cause the flu.

"If you are someone who is at risk, 10 percent of enhanced effectiveness against an illness that could be fatal is definitely better than no percent", Lutz said. Staying healthy during the winter can be a challenge, but simply getting vaccinated and following the basic rules of hygiene you learned as a kid could make all the difference. But that's not the case.

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Symptoms of influenza include fever, chills, muscle aches, cough, congestion, runny nose, headaches, and fatigue. "The flu can spread like wildfire, and these settings can act just like kindling".

"The vaccine is still the best bet we have, the best tool we have", Poursina says.

This year's vaccine may have been mismatched for the flu strains that ended up circulating, making the vaccinations ineffective.

"If you look historically and put things into perspective, there's variability in flu seasons. Getting it during the holiday season is even worse", said Chakravarty. Oftentimes, there is a delay in the onset of the virus in different parts of the country.

"Getting the flu is an terrible experience".

Myth 4. Flu season is annoying but can't cause major harm.