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Doctors say flu season is hitting earlier this year

By Bianca Rae, KESQ News Channel 3 Reporter, brae@kesq.com
Published On: Dec 04 2012 07:52:56 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 04 2012 08:05:00 PM CST
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. -

The flu is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death - true. Therefore everyone gets the flu shot to keep themselves and others healthy - false.

"This year the flu is hitting a bit earlier than expected. Normally we see the flu coming around January but this time we're seeing it in November and December," Dr. Michael Jardula from Desert Oasis Healthcare said.

That's likely why many stand by the vaccine.

"I get it every year to protect myself. This year we got them earlier because they said flu season was starting earlier," Richard Sirinsky said.

Still those flu shot stereotypes exist, and people think the disease will pass them by.

"Eat right, stay positive, exercise, be happy," Darlene Daniello said.
 
We talked to a lot of people and realized there are many myths and stereotypes out there about the flu shot. So we had a True/False session with Dr. Jardula.

True or false: If you are a very healthy person with a great immune system, you don't need a flu shot.

"I'd say that's false. No one has natural immunity to the flu shot," Dr. Jardula said.

True or false: If you've already had the flu this season, you don't need the flu shot.

"I'd say that's false. There are different varieties of the flu. The vaccine we have currently is geared toward several different strains," Dr. Jardula said.

True or false: getting the flu shot will actually make you sick.

"Generally false. No one is really going to get the flu from the flu vaccine. It's stimulating your immune system so your immune system may have a little bit of a low grade temperature maybe low grade body ache, but it's not the flu," Dr. Jardula said.

Here's what's true: Certain people are at greater risk for serious complications from the flu, such as:

-adults 65 years of age and older,
-children 5 and under
-people with chronic health conditions, such as asthma, diabetes heart disease, and neurologic disorders
-pregnant women

Flu season typically peaks in January or February and can last as late as may.
It's not too late to vaccinate!