2009 Flu Season is More Complicated

2009 Flu Season is More Complicated

It’s fall again, and the big questions on everyone’s mind this year are -- whether Tom Brady’s knee will hold up and the H1N1 Virus.

My Magic 8 Ball says “cannot predict now” on Tom Brady’s ACL but “decidedly so” on H1N1 vaccines. Decidedly, “swine flu”, as it has been called despite porcine protests, is here and we need to be vigilant.

True, two flus
There are actually two flus circulating this year: the “seasonal” flu (seasonal in its predictable annual recurrence, even though it’s a different flu strain each time) and the infamous H1N1 flu.

Two flus, two flu shots
The seasonal flu vaccine will not protect you from H1N1 flu. The H1N1 vaccine is separate, and will be available to certain groups of people later this fall. For the latest information on the H1N1 vaccine, visit http://www.cambridgepublichealth.org/H1N1flu/.

Luckily for us, starting October 8, Cambridge is providing free flu shots for the seasonal flu again this year (and free “Flu Mist” again for needle-aversive kiddies) so there is no excuse for not getting vaccinated unless you have an allergy to eggs.
For the Free Flu Clinic Schedule please see http://www.cambridgepublichealth.org/services/diseases-conditions/flu/ca...

Additional H1N1 clinics will be added when the vaccine is available.

Double Trouble
With two strains circulating, the incidence of illness increases so it’s important to do all you can to prevent catching or spreading germs.

  • Stay home if you’re sick. Home means home, not home from work or school and out at the mall or library where you will spread germs to others.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Practice the Vampire Sneeze, sneezing into your elbow rather than your hand so as not to spread germs when you touch things or people.
  • Get vaccinated.

Rememember, Flu can kill.
Every year

  • 5% to 20% of the US population gets the flu,
  • more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu complications,
  • and about 36,000 die.

Flu can put you out of commission for a week or longer with cough, fever, aches and weakness.

For more information on seasonal flu see http://www.cambridgepublichealth.org/services/diseases-conditions/flu/in....