There's still time to get a flu shot

NYS DOH flu seasons 2017

The number of confirmed flu cases in New York State by week for the last four flu seasons (including the current one). / chart: NYS DOH

There have now been confirmed cases of influenza in 54 of New York's 62 counties, the state Department of Health reported this week. That total includes all four of the core Capital Region counties.

It's still early in the flu season, and who knows for sure what direction it's going to take -- it's kind of like the weather that way. So it's still a good time to get a flu shot. (And a new shot is required each year because the flu changes from season to season.) From DOH:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducts studies each year to determine how effective the vaccine will be in protecting against influenza-related illness and while the effectiveness can vary from year to year, studies show that the vaccine remains the most effective way to protect public health. Additionally, studies show that the influenza vaccine can make the illness milder in certain cases where an individual was vaccinated but still contracted influenza.
NYSDOH recommends that everyone six months of age or older receive an influenza vaccination. The vaccine is especially important for people at high risk for complications from influenza, which includes children under age 2, pregnant women and adults over age 65. People with preexisting conditions such as asthma and heart disease are also at greater risk as are individuals with weakened immune systems due to disease or medications such as chemotherapy or chronic steroid use. Since influenza virus can spread easily through coughing or sneezing, it is also important that family members and people in regular contact with high risk individuals get an influenza vaccine.

That last part is important. Getting a flu shot can not only help you, it can also help the people around you. In fact, it's this group protection that might be one of the most valuable things about getting the jab. (There's a famous public health case study from Japan in which school children were vaccinated for influenza and it appears to have had a very large positive effect for elderly people.)

It's become easier in recent years to get a flu shot. You can get one at a primary care doctor's office, sure. But many pharmacies now offer them, too. And many health plans cover them so they're either free or low cost.


One of my clients is a local doctor who manufacturers a cold and flu remedy, and an immune booster, called Dr. Schnuffie's Wellness Formulas.

I recently started taking it as soon as I felt a nasty cold coming on, and my symptoms cleared up right away. So I definitely endorse the product, which you can purchase locally at Honest Weight and the Niskayuna Co-op.

Dr. Inglis, of Great Barrington, also has some great writing about treating colds and flus on the Dr. Schnuffie's website:

Get your snake oil out of here! Nice testimonial coming from your own website Duncan.

Also calling you out on your FAKE NEWS, Duncan!
from the Drschnuffies website:
* This product is not intended to cure, prevent or treat any
disease *

From the CDC website: 101 pediatric deaths from flu last year, 80-85% of those children didn't get the flu shot - they might even have been too young to get immunized.

Please be civil, neighbors. There are pros and cons to both pharmaceutical and nutriceutical/herbal approaches to preventing and treating disease.

Greg, looks like you missed an opportunity to collect some advertising money for AOA ! ha ha.

Surprised that such a blatant promotional comment was accepted. BTW, Dr. Ingles helped launch the product being promoted with a fiction writer Andy Blechman...and I'm guessing that Duncan is their marketing agent.

I think Duncan owes you some ad money. just sayin. :-)

You know what else is effective in stopping the spread of the flu?
Many people drag themselves to work while sick to show how hardworking they are (especially during performance review season). They infect dozens of coworkers and their families. Sometimes people don't even have the sick days available or they come with restrictions such a demand of doctor's note. Why would a contagious person go to a doctor just to get a piece of paper? We need a reasonable policy on a state level regarding a sick leave.
I'm understandably bitter, it's my THIRD cold this winter and it's not even New Year. Those germs did not appear out of nowhere!

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