• Last modified 3073 days ago (Nov. 18, 2010)


Flu season begins

Vaccines take time
to reach full efficacy

Cases of influenza have been confirmed in Kansas, Kansas Department of Health and Environment announced recently.

Marion County Health Department Director Diedre Serene has not heard of any confirmed cases locally, but that doesn’t mean the flu isn’t out there. Many people who contract influenza don’t see a doctor, Serene said.

Flu vaccines can take up to two weeks to reach their full efficacy.

“I would encourage people before they travel for the holidays, before Thanksgiving, to get the shot and give it some time,” she said.

The earlier people are vaccinated, the better protected they will be when visiting family for the holiday, and later, Christmas.

This year’s seasonal flu vaccine includes the H1N1 and H3N2 strains of influenza A, as well as influenza B. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend everyone older than 6 months be vaccinated.

Thorough hand-washing can help prevent infection, Serene said. People can also take steps to avoid spreading the disease, such as coughing into the crook of their elbow instead of their hands and staying home when sick.

Last modified Nov. 18, 2010