Flu Season 2013: Starting off Normal


Compared to one year ago, experts are saying the flu season is off to a normal start.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported last year there were 381,000 people hospitalized with influenza -- the most since at least 2005.

Experts at the Central District Health Department said it's the kind of bug we can prevent. Teresa Anderson, executive director of CDHD said, "We can prevent the illness by getting the flu shot now."

The Central District Health Department in Grand Island has administered 2,000 adult flu vaccines so far, and around 400 for children.

They haven't seen too many cases yet in Nebraska but said it's coming this way from southern states.

Anderson said so far it looks like the vaccine is a good match. A possible reason for the increase in flu-related hospitalizations some years could occur if the vaccine wasn't a good match for the circulating virus.

Local health experts said this year the vaccine is looking to be much more effective.

Anderson said, "The flu vaccine is a bit of a tricky business, we have researchers who watch the virus as they circulate in the southern hemisphere, while it's summer here, and they prepare the vaccine effective against those viruses."

Anderson added the best time to get the vaccine is before Christmas. She says the sooner the better, before the virus spreads.

Influenza typically reaches its peak during January and February.