CDC starts monitoring cases of the flu for 2019-2020 season
COLUMBIA - The CDC began monitoring the 2019-2020 flu season this weekend. And doctors are urging people to get their flu shots to protect themselves from the virus.
Dr. Jonathan Morris with Columbia Urgent Care said it's also important to get your flu shot to protect the people who can't get it.
"All ages are affected. Anyone can get the flu. I would say the most worrisome people in the population would be children and would be older adults and anyone who is immune compromised. They have the highest rate of fatality," Dr. Morris said.
Doctors advise patients six months and older to get their flu vaccines now because it can typically take about two weeks for your body to build up immunity.
"If you're vaccinated, you are doing the best you can," Dr. Morris said. "You want to make sure you get plenty of rest, eat healthy lifestyle. In January, February, you want to avoid well-populated areas lots of people gather."
According to NBC News, researchers are looking at Australia's flu season, which could predict America's flu season. They said the flu season in Australia was particularly severe with six times as many cases as last year.
The 2018-2019 flu season broke records as the longest running flu season lasting 21 weeks of elevated flu virus.
The CDC said symptoms typically start about two days after a person is infected and a person can be considered contagious 3 to 4 days after the flu begins.
Columbia Urgent Care is just one of the places offering flu shots in mid-Missouri this season. You can call your insurance to see what places are covered under your plan.
A child death has already been reported in California where a 4-year-old with underlying health problems died after contracting the flu.