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It's not too late to get a flu shot

Woman with the snifflesFlu shots given now can still be effective this season, although the development of antibodies that will protect you against the flu takes about two weeks.

Flu season can start as early as October and last into May. The number of confirmed cases of influenza in Onondaga County began increasing the first week of January with 58 cases, 70 the second week, 87 the third, and 94 this week. The number of flu deaths in Central New York has climbed to five, according to the Syracuse news site, syracuse.com.
A variety of health conditions put people at greater risk during flu season. "Certainly cardiac disease, lung disease, neurologic disease, kidney disease, liver disease and now we're seeing that people who are overweight, particularly obese or morbidly obese seem to be at higher risk for this type of flu," Dr. K. Bruce Simmons, MD told CNY Central. Simmons is an associate professor of medicine at Upstate.

Check medical offices and pharmacies for flu vaccines. Or, the Onondaga County Immunization Clinic, at 301 Slocum Ave., occurs 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Thursdays. The cost of flu vaccine is based on family income and size.

In addition to getting immunized, public health authorities advise extra hygiene precautions:

* wash your hands often with warm water and soap;

* cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your arm when you sneeze or cough;

* avoid close contact with anyone who is sick.

* and, if you get sick with the flu, stay home and away from others for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone.

More flu information from:

Onondaga County Health Department

New York State Health Department

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention