‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’

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Flu season may not hit in full force until February, but preventative measures in the early fall can dampen its blow.

The Centers for Disease Control tracks the influenza virus as it circulates the globe year-round. The U.S. sees an increased number of cases between December and March each year. During the 2018-2019 flu season, CDC reported as many as 647,000 hospitalizations and 61,000 deaths from flu-related illness, as well as around 40 million flu illnesses reported.

As the virus mutates, the vaccine from the previous year becomes less effective. The CDC recommends getting a vaccination in October or early November, when the latest vaccine is available and before flu activity reaches its peak.

The CDC also recommends a flu shot for everyone over the age of six months. As more people are vaccinated against the virus, the less it will spread and affect those who are most susceptible to serious complications.

Vaccines are available at the Umpqua Health-Newton Creek Clinic with an appointment. If you or your child do come down with a severe cold, sore throat or high fever, urgent care will offer immediate assistance and help you get back to good health.

The clinic staff has a variety of services, including pediatrics, primary care and urgent care. Call 541-229-7038 or come to the Roseburg clinic at 3031 NE Stephens St.

For weekly flu season updates, visit https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/index.htm.

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