Mass. Hit With Early Flu Season

Cases of flu higher than normal, according to CDC

A Nov. 30 report by the BC Centre of Disease Controlsays that for the time period between Nov. 12 and Nov. 25, flu rates are within the 10-year average and detection "remains at low but increasing levels, with a mix of influenza A and B".

"What we do know is that the more people who get the vaccine, the fewer people get sick, the milder the flu season is for everyone", said Dr. John Marshall of Maimonides Medical Center.

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.

He says getting the flu shot annually continues to be the best protection against the flu, especially for high-risk populations, including seniors, young children, pregnant women and those with pre-existing medical conditions. The flu virus in now widespread in Georgia. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, several strains of influenza virus are in circulation.

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Some people are more vulnerable to serious flu illness, including infants, children, elders and people with certain chronic health issues. He encourages people age 65 and older to talk with their doctor about getting one of the vaccines created to give older people a better immune response, and therefore, better protection against flu.

The CDC recommends everyone six months and older get a flu shot each season.

Flu shots can be obtained at most pharmacies, walk-in clinics and doctor's offices, free of charge.