Flu season begins, we want to find out how bad it's shaping up to be

Two people have died in North Carolina this year from the flu

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WVEC) -- We are only a couple of weeks into flu season, and already two people in North Carolina are dead after getting the illness. So we are digging into how bad this upcoming flu season could become in Hampton Roads.

We sat down with the Chesapeake Health Department epidemiologist, Lisa Engle to get you answers. Engle said it's tough to predict now, but December is when they usually see a big spike. She also said the flu is most deadly for the youngest and oldest ages. Therefore, it makes it difficult to track.

“Older adults die of the flu but they also have underlying conditions, and they may not come in for the flu. They may just come in to the doctor and they already have pneumonia,” said Engle.

Engle said the flu shot takes two weeks to kick in.

“The truth of the matter is, they don’t need to wait they need to get it before the flu season actually happens, so they’re immune when it happens,” she said.

Some people said the flu shots make them sick, but Engle said that’s not possible. She also adds that for those who say they got vaccinated and still ended up with the flu: it’s most likely because, “people wait until they are already exposed, and then they get the flu vaccine. So, they think the flu vaccine is what caused them to get sick.”

Engle said the number of deaths all depends on how many people get the flu vaccine, and how harmful the virus turns out to be. This year’s vaccine is based on where the flu is already found.

“Right now, it does look like the vaccine is a good match,” said Engle. So she suggests getting flu shots now since it takes two weeks for the vaccine to kick in.

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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