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New Years Eve in Las Vegas with 8 News NOW

Flu season begins and local hospitals already seeing their first cases

Local News

SALT LAKE, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – It’s the beginning of flu season and doctors’ offices and hospitals are already seeing their first cases of the flu this season.

The Utah Health Department is encouraging almost everyone to get vaccinated, including healthcare professionals themselves. The health department is taking its own advice by holding its own employee clinic.

“I work in a cubicle office and so I’m around a lot of people,” said Stephanie Wilkinson. 

On average, 3 million people in the U.S. get sick from the flu. Stephanie Wilkinson isn’t taking any chances.

“I like to get the flu shot to prevent myself from getting sick from my coworkers who sometimes come to work when they’re not quite sick enough to stay home and so I like to protect myself.”

“We encourage healthcare professionals in particular because they may be dealing and are dealing with patients who have other illnesses. Their immunity could be low,” said Rebecca Ward with Utah Department of Health. 

Health officials say they worry about the vulnerable population, especially, and encourage them to get the flu shot. They include pregnant women, children under 5, the elderly, and those with chronic illness.

“We are seeing influenza circulating. To date, we’ve had 11 confirmed hospitalizations,” said Ward. 

The Health Department recommends everyone 6 months and older to get the flu shot every season. The Health Department says you can still spread the flu before you notice symptoms because it can take up to four days for symptoms to arise.  They also say the Flu Mist, again, is not recommended this year.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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