Word tonight from South Dakota's state epidemiologist that this flu season, so far, contains no surprises in terms of unusual or mutating flu viruses. But Dr. Lon Kightlinger does tell us...the flu strains that are out there are dangerous and you need to take precautions....no matter what.
In recent years, it has been a familiar sight all across the KSFY viewing area; people standing in long lines waiting for flu vaccine after concerns about bird flu and swine flu. Thankfully, so far, there are no warnings about anything unusual this time around. "We're seeing what's called normal seasonal influenza. it's the same type of viruses that we have been seeing year after year."
But..says state epidemiologist Dr. Lon Kightlinger.....don't assume that because it's the same viruses this time around that you should relax....or not worry.....because Kightlinger says you should no matter what. "The vaccine is the best way to prevent influenza."
Kightlinger paints a picture of people developing the flu....then developing pneumonia...which can be fatal in some. He also says if you don't get vaccinated and you get sick...you become part of the problem.....by clogging up doctor's offices and hospitals...and being a carrier means you could infect someone else. Getting vaccinates cuts the chances of these bad things and others from happening....though keep in mind....the vaccine isn't a magic pill. "It's not 100% effective...we know that....but yet it's the best prevention for influenza that we have."
Dr. Kightlinger also underscores the importance of washing your hands to kill and flu virus you might have on your skin. You should also avoid having your hands come into contact with your eyes, nose and mouth this time of year....you might not think twice about it but it can lead you to becoming infected with the virus.