Flu season underway in Kansas; officials urge flu shot

Flu Shot (NBC Photo)
Flu Shot (NBC Photo)

TOPEKA, Kan. – Influenza season is underway in Kansas with Via Christi Hospital in Wichita reporting its first case of the season.

Officials with the Kansas Department of Health say the flu vaccine is the single best way to protect yourself and those around you. Last flu season, a total of 903 deaths reported in Kansas were attributed to influenza and pneumonia, one of the most serious complications of influenza.

It is important for everyone 6 months and older to get a flu vaccine each year to help prevent against the flu and to protect from spreading it to others. It is especially important for people at high risk of developing a flu-related complication to get vaccinated. This includes; children under 5; adults 65 years and older; pregnant women, and up to two weeks post-partum; and residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.

The seasonal flu vaccine protects against influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during this season. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for the antibodies to provide protection against infection.

There are several flu vaccine options for the 2016-2017 flu season. For information about the different vaccine options visit http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm

For more information about influenza and surveillance, visit http://www.kdheks.gov/flu/index.html

For more information about influenza and the flu vaccine, visit www.cdc.gov.