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May 27th
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Home News Latest State and local officials give update on flu activity; county residents urged to get flu shots

State and local officials give update on flu activity; county residents urged to get flu shots

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LAKE COUNTY, Calif. – As a flu epidemic crosses the nation, state and local health officials said California so far is not seeing an unusual spike in the seasonal illness, but they nonetheless urged people to be vaccinated as a precaution before the season peaks.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that 47 states have reported widespread geographic influenza activity, up from 41 the previous week.  

The CDC estimates that an average of 25,000 people die annually from flu across the United States, with the elderly, children and other special populations proving to be especially vulnerable.

The California Department of Public Health's surveillance indicators are showing a steady increase in influenza activity in California.

Dr. Ron Chapman, director of the California Department of Public Health and state health officer, said that while California is seeing an increase in flu activity, it's not an unexpected one.

“California is seeing an accelerated increase in flu activity over the past few weeks,” said Dr. Chapman. “You can help prevent further spread of the flu by getting a flu shot.”

Chapman's office reported that while influenza activity varies from year to year and is unpredictable, California generally sees an increase in cases in late December or early January and it often peaks in February or March.

“So far it's been very quiet,” said Dr. Karen Tait, Lake County's public health office.

Tait said she has not heard any reports of case spikes from local hospitals. Lake County News also did not receive responses back from local hospitals on Friday regarding the numbers of cases.

Tait said her office also hasn't gotten any notice of “reportable cases,” which are limited to flu deaths to people under age 65.

“In terms of even just informal reports, we’re not getting a lot of activity so far,” she said. “We don’t know if that means we’re still on an upswing and it hasn’t gotten here yet.”

However, she points out that the annual flu spikes are normal. “People forget what the normal seasonal flu does.”

“The best defense against the flu is getting vaccinated. This year’s vaccine is an excellent match against this year’s influenza strains,” Dr. Chapman said. “There is no shortage of vaccine in California and it is not too late to get vaccinated. Our flu season may not peak for several more weeks, so I encourage everyone to get vaccinated to protect not only themselves, but those with whom they come into contact.”

Tait agreed. While in many places across the country flu vaccine is running out, Tait said her office has plenty.

The CDC reported that 90 percent of all of the flu strains circulating are included in the vaccine. More than 130 million doses that were produced by the vaccine manufacturers this year already have been given.

Since scheduled clinics are past, Tait said people can call the Public Health Department to check on times for when to come in for shots.

She said it's best to call ahead of time. “It’s gotten quite busy all of a sudden,” she said, a fact she attributed to increased media attention about the flu.

“After a few years of fairly flu seasons, people weren’t all that eager to be vaccinated this year,” she said.

It may be more “hit and miss” supply-wise for local doctors and other care providers. Tait urged people to call their providers right away to check on availability.

Not available is the flu mist nasal spray which have expired, and usually expires fairly quickly in the flu season, Tait said.

Regarding why flu is worse some years than others, Tait explained that flu strains “do evolve and change,” and sometimes those changes are minor and sometimes major.

If a strain is similar to one that was widespread 20 years ago, older people might find they are relatively protected, she said.

Tait said Lake County always has been fortunate because in its rural environment there are not a lot of venues for people to crowd together and thus spread the flu more.

Dr. Chapman noted that in addition to getting vaccinated, it’s important to practice good hand washing and other good health habits.

Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue.

People who are ill should take actions to stop the spread of germs such as limiting contact with others; covering one's nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing; washing hands thoroughly with soap and water or using an alcohol-based rub; and avoiding touching one's eyes, nose and mouth, Chapman’s office said.

State health care officials said special care should be shown to high risk groups, including the elderly, pregnant women, infants or those with other health conditions that make them particularly vulnerable. When they show flu symptoms a physician should be contacted immediately.

To find out more about flu vaccines, call Lake County Public Health, 707-263-1090.

Email Elizabeth Larson at [email protected] . Follow her on Twitter, @ERLarson, or Lake County News, @LakeCoNews.

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Comments (8)Add Comment
written by allenmarkowski, January 14, 2013
Thanks for your comments & sharing. Here's another article & link to a downloadable pdf file regarding vaccines--> Doctors, Nurses and Scientists on Protecting Your Child and Yourself.
written by WatchDog, January 14, 2013
For years, or at recently and definitely currently, the flu vaccine contains only the dead virus, and cannot possibly cause a person to get the flu. However, it is only 60% effective, and it helps the other 40% to get a milder case than otherwise. This is one reason all the channels are trying to correct the public's beliefs. It also takes two weeks to be effective.

There is nothing to fear from it, except maybe one day of feeling funny.
written by ca215, January 14, 2013
Thank you very much for your intelligence. Also for the link to consult when truth is sought.

The genius in his/her own mind, "guest" would be the name of the person, attempts here to smear others with what seems to be a favorite word of the writer....I'm referring now to use of the overly-used word "stupid."

Seems to me that the writer who tossed around that word so freely might want to think before doing it again.
written by ca215, January 14, 2013
You do not know me so have no way to determine that I am as stupid as you say here I am.

You may feel and say that your interpretation of my words struck you as being stupid but there is simply no way to establish your idea I am stupid based on an event that actually happened when I let myself be nagged into getting the *****d shot just to shut up mommie dearest.
One of the worst mistakes I ever made; I should have instead just told her to shut up, I was not going to get the flu vaccination no matter what she said.

But it seemed that nagging was the thing she did best, usually in a neck-and-neck race with her own pity partying.

FYI: according to releases from various health agencies in years past I've read that "We" (the supposed 'health' industry) "are always fighting the flu war against the previous years' version of flu." If a reader thinks, it becomes obvious that 'anti-flu' shots are whipped up to fight the symptoms of LAST years' flu because those symptoms are all that the CDC or NIH or other agency knows. The agencies do not know what the symptoms of this years' flu will be timely to vaccinate against whatever those symptoms might be since the flu germs mutate from one year to the next so that last years' flu will be different from this years' version.

Sick? I got so incredibly sick...because the vaccine (duh) contained live germs. I've been told several times in years since that that is always the case. But I figured I'd allowed myself to be nagged into getting the anti-flu shot so I believed the flu would not stick around long.
I was wrong. That is the year an article got my attention and I learned that thing about "fighting the last war." Please don't ask me why I did not use logic to get to that solution; I'd be apt to believe your comment about my stupidity. THAT is when calling me "stupid" might possibly get agreement from myself. But perhaps not; I might decide that your deciding to toss around the "stupid" word could be truthful...because (I'm going to write these words twice in case you miss them the first time you read them...if you do read them) I let dear mommie nag and nag and nag until I finally gave up and went along with what she claimed would be good.

It's too bad that I did go along in order to shut her up: I did get very sick but went to bed every night thinking that I might be better the next day because "I had the has to get to work killing off the germs pretty soon. Doesn't it?" Fast answer: NO. Having the vaccination giver pour more illness germs into my system on top of an immune system already impacted by myalgic encephalomyelitis just made me more sick than any person had any business being.

The long-ago flu brought on in part by my caving in and accepting the shot, the flu that I thought would go away soon, did everything BUT leave. It worked hard to hurt me and nearly succeeded in killing me off. The flu, see, spread and spread through my system until it hit the sac surrounding my heart and caused me to be put into a bed at San Francisco General Hospital.

So. Look: I am not speaking/writing stupidly when I relate what happened the one and only time after I hit adulthood and could make some of my own decisions FOR MYSELF.

Ingredients in last years' H1N1 flu vaccine, and I hope someone inclined to call others "Stupid" runs a search for the ingredients which include cleanser, anti-freeze designed for automobiles, and on and on to include things having no business being inflicted on any humane or human being. Still want The Shot? Go ahead. Get two may have mine.

Sorry, no, I will not agree to tend to you when you become ill due to accepting the vaccine. You are Constitutionally-guaranteed to think what you choose to think and I will grudgingly agree you have the right to toss around such words as "Stupid," but just because you are free to say or think what you choose it does not mean I have to go along with what you say or think. That refusal is MY freedom.
How stupid
written by a guest, January 13, 2013
You two are an insult to the residents of Lake County, and also a danger to our health. It is impossible to get the flu from the vaccination. (period) You not only endanger yourselves, but everyone you come in contact if you contact the bug, even if it doesn't take hold in you.
OH, SURE....
written by ca215, January 13, 2013
Get the "flu vaccine." That is, get it if: you wish to become ill with the worst case of flu you have ever had. IF you wish to be the recipient of a tracking chip (research RFID) along with the sick-making vaccination. IF you enjoy the idea of being constantly tracked, found within a very short time....against your will.

Okay. "Chip" your car. "Chip" your cat or dog if it is apt to escape house/yard. If you own YOW!-expensive electronics, etch your chosen identifier somewhere known to yourself on or in the case surrounding the piece of electronic wonder. That way if the electronic thing is stolen you can identify it to the possibly investigating local law enforcement...if it is ever discovered by LLE while another crime might be investigated.

Way too much history behing the "chip your kid" idea. Might as well place a tattoo on baby's arm or ankle. Such tattooing was oh so popular during WW2 by haters; of course there still exists a minority which claims the Halocaust never happened. They are wrong but that does not keep them from spouting their moronic ideas.

Please do not chip your child. Some people wish to create and pass statutes that the newly-born should be chipped at birth.
Every parent has a right to opinion re: the chips. I do not feel that such a thing should be inflicted on a new born; if the child is to be chipped at all please wait until the child reaches his/her majority and can make the Chip/No chip decision at that time.

Real solutions to the flu
written by allenmarkowski, January 13, 2013
Mike Adams "If you really want to stay healthy this flu season, the answer is pretty simple. It all starts with the top three nutrients for flu prevention:

1) Vitamin D
2) More vitamin D
3) And yet more vitamin D

If you're not taking at least 5,000 IUs of vitamin D each day during the winter flu season, you're probably vitamin D deficient and that's making you a sitting duck for influenza.

Learn more:
Flu epidemic strikes millions of Americans already vaccinated against the flu
written by allenmarkowski, January 13, 2013
According to the writer "The CDC refuses to release any statistics on this, of course, because then the total hoax of the flu shot would be exposed."

Learn more:

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Last Updated ( Sunday, 13 January 2013 14:18 )