- State News
- Gas Industry
Flu season may have reached its peak in PA
January 24, 2013
By Kimberly Dreese
College Life Editor
According to a recent survey done by the CDC, over 47 states have reported widespread influenza activity. However, the numbers also suggest that for the places that were hit the earliest—including the South and the Northeast—the season may finally be at its peak.
The best way to prevent getting the flu, according to the CDC, is getting a flu vaccine each year. Flu shots are available in the Williamsport area at pharmacies such as CVS, Rite Aid, and those found in grocery stores such as Giant.
It’s important to get the vaccination as early as possible. According to the CDC, the vaccination encourages the growth of antibodies in your body about two weeks after injection. However, although flu season has likely reached its peak in our area, it’s always a good idea to be vaccinated at any time in which the viruses are still showing activity.
Many people, such as college students and healthy young adults, choose not to get a vaccine because of the cost—at some places, according to wisebread.com, if your insurance is not accepted, a flu shot could cost up to $25 just for the shot and other fees for administering the vaccine. However, according to eHow.com, with insurance, costs range from $0-$30 in copays depending on where the individual goes.
Unfortunately for the general population, an Early Estimate of Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness report released by the CDC in early January revealed that this year’s vaccine is only 60% effective.
For individuals who refuse to be vaccinated or for whom the vaccine was ineffective, the flu can be contracted through contact with the virus by breathing in infected air or touching infected surfaces.
According to www.flu.gov, individuals who contract the virus will likely experience fever, a cough or sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, head and body aches, chills, and fatigue. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are also possible, but more likely to occur in children. The flu lasts one to two weeks on average.
To cope with symptoms, many sick individuals are given prescriptions for Tamiflu, a medicine that attempts to shorten the duration of the flu, according to the Tamiflu website. However, Tamiflu can be outrageously expensive. No generic forms of Tamiflu have yet been made, and according to Vincent Ianelli, M.D., the drug can cost over $100 if the consumer must pay full price.