High flu activity in surrounding states

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -According to the Center for Disease Control, flu season is in full swing and affecting several states that surround Arkansas. States like Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Oklahoma and Missouri have all seen high flu activity.

The CDC states that last year seniors and young children were affected the most by the flu. However, this year doctors are saying that young adults are the ones who are being hit the hardest.

"The majority of hospitalizations for influenza occur in people 65 years and older, and the majority of deaths in that group," said CDC Medical Officer Dr. Michael Jhung. "But, we know that H1N1, this particular influenza virus does cause more infections in younger adults."

H1N1, also known as swine flu, caused a pandemic back in 2009 that the CDC said infected 52 million people. A flu shot is the best way to protect yourself.

"Every formulation of vaccine that you can get this year will protect against H1N1, and it will also protect against other influenza viruses that we think are circulating," said Dr. Jhung.

One local doctor highly suggests getting the flu shot, if not to protect yourself, at least to help keep the virus from spreading here in Arkansas.

"If you don't want to take the flu shot for you, take it for the person you might infect," said St. Bernards Dr. Shane Speights. "Unfortunately, you can be affected for 24 to 36 hours and pass it on, and not even know it."

Doctors recommend everyone six months and older to get a flu shot.

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