Not too late to get your shot
by Andrew Shilling
Jan 16, 2013 | 1289 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print

If you are feeling the common symptoms of muscle aches, sore throat, fever or headaches, you are not alone this year.

The flu season is among us, and chances are either you or someone you know has already been sick.

According to Department of Health Commissioner Thomas Farley, the 2013 flu season has been much more ramped up than in recent history, as doctors are diagnosing 5 percent of all emergency room visits with the virus, up from the regularly recorded 2 percent in previous years.

“It’s a bad year,” Farley said in a press conference at Elmhurst Hospital last week. “We’ve got lots of flu this year. It’s mainly type AH3N2, which tends to be a little more severe, so we’re seeing plenty of cases of the flu and plenty of people sick with the flu.”

AH3N2 is a strain of the virus that was originally found in U.S. pigs in 2010, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). There were just 11 cases in December 2011, however it spread to over 300 around the same time the following year.

While CDC has reported a widespread outbreak this year in 47 states and all 57 counties of New York, Farley explained that it is still not too late to prevent or lower your chances of contracting the sometimes-deadly illness.

“It’s still not too late to get your flu shot,” he said. “If you haven’t gotten the flu yet and you haven’t gotten your flu shot, you could still get it.”

Although Mayor Michael Bloomberg still caught the flu last month after getting his vaccination back in October, he plans on getting regularly immunized in the coming years.

“There’s no guarantees in life,” Bloomberg said. “You can take a flu shot, walk across the street and get hit by a car. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get your flu shot.”

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