Doctors urge vaccinations as flu season gets an early start

Doctors urge vaccinations as flu season gets an early start

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"I want to encourage everyone to get the flu shot," said Dr. Wilson. "I want to encourage everyone to get the flu shot," said Dr. Wilson.
Dr. Wilson even received his own flu shot. Dr. Wilson even received his own flu shot.
Health care providers are doing all they can to arm themselves and the public against what is expected to be a busy flu season. Health care providers are doing all they can to arm themselves and the public against what is expected to be a busy flu season.

By LORI TUCKER
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - With sporadic flu cases popping up in the Knoxville area, health experts are urging residents to get a flu shot ahead of flu season.

The first cases started in September, which is considered early. Usually flu starts to hit in late October, peaks in January and winds down by February.

Doctors say everyone needs a flu shot every year because the virus mutates and previous vaccines do not protect against newer forms of the virus.

Since it is ever-changing, the CDC, the World Health Organization (WHO) and other top health agencies worldwide meet every year to choose that year's seasonal flu vaccine.

They make the decision based on surveillance data from more than 100 national flu centers in more than 100 countries.

Flu is a concern not just now, but year-round, especially for busy travelers.

"You typically see flu in the Northern Hemisphere in the winter. What's really interesting is the Southern Hemisphere typically sees flu in the winter as well, which, for them, is in the middle of our summer," said Dr. Anthony Wilson.

Health care providers are doing all they can to arm themselves and the public against what is expected to be a busy flu season.

"I want to encourage everyone to get the flu shot," said Wilson. "I think it's very important and I'm getting mine today as well."

Doctors say it's not too late to get yours.

If you are diagnosed with the flu, the anti-viral drug Tamiflu is usually given within the first day or so of flu symptoms. It doesn't cure the flu, but it does lessen the symptoms.

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