Mass. Hit With Early Flu Season

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The Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit is still urging people to get their flu shots, despite a medical publication saying it's not very effective this year.

If the numbers are any indication of what's to come, people are in for a bad flu season.

It's just the start of the flu season, but the virus has already spread widely across MA, according to state epidemiologists who track and report the flu to the Centers for Disease Control.

This season, the CDC advises that only injectable flu vaccines (flu shots) are recommended.

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Goudreau says "the relatively low percentage of effectiveness in Australia is due to many factors, including the shifting and changing of the flu virus each season".

Between twelve-thousand and fifty-six-thousand deaths each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Skiest said people can avoid numerous complications associated with the virus by getting the shot. Those at high-risk include: pregnant women, young children, adults 50 years and older, and people with chronic health conditions.

"Human immune defenses become weaker with age, which places older people at greater risk of severe illness", explained Dr. Levine.

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If you're 65 or older, there are two vaccine options created to boost immune response.

But healthcare providers say you should still get the flu shot. "It is not an understatement to say their lives may depend on you".

Flu shots are available at more than 300 locations around Vermont.

Doctors typically look south to get an idea of what's coming.

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