LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Health Department Spokesman Ed Barham is trying to stress the importance of getting a flu shot.
"It's in the top ten causes of death for the United States," says Barham.
The flu vaccine includes three strains of the flu to build up your immune system. One of the strains, is the H1N1 virus that hit Americans hard in 2009.
"The H1N1 flu is still in circulation we still see cases of it and the protection for that is in this flu shot,"says Barham.
Little Rock School District Health Services Coordinator Margo Bushmiaer says vaccinating children is like protecting the community around them.
"We know children are the vector of flu. They carry it home to their parents, grandparents, and Sunday school teacher," says Bushmiaer who says it takes a few weeks for the vaccine to kick in, and she hasn't seen any signs of the flu within school district, yet this fall. "So, the timing of the clinic is perfect to do prevention."
Symptoms include fever, headache, sore throat, and body aches. Will it be as bad as the 2009 flu season? Nobody knows.
"We have no way to predict how serious the flu season will be, when it will start and how long will it last," says Barham.
There are some people who can't get the flu shot. These include babies and people allergic to eggs, and anyone who has Guillain-Barre Syndrome or has suffered an allergic reaction in the past to the flu shot.
Seasonal flu vaccine is not required for children to attend school, but it is highly recommended. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatricians recommend everyone aged six months and older receive a seasonal flu vaccine every year. Seasonal flu causes children to miss school and their parents to miss work.
For a list of flu shot clinics and the Arkansas Health Department's press release, click here.
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