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How Bad Is This Year's Flu?

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By Brittany Cooper

Twin Falls, Idaho (KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV) Recent estimates show 47 states are reporting widespread levels of the flu. Forecasts show Idaho's season to be more serious than in previous years.

The 2012–2013 flu season came a little early and has yet to peak.
And unfortunately, it's impossible to say when that will be, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

But what we do know is that 15 people have died so far in Idaho.

Mary Jensen, Epidemiology Manager, South Central Public Health District says, "we're seeing a lot of flu, it has increased in Idaho, but that's normal for this time of year too."

Idaho last saw a severe flu season back in 2003 to 2004 when 28 people died, but six more have died just in the last week and we're not even through the peak months.

"We usually peak around December, January, February, but every year is different though."

All of the documented deaths so far have been people over the age of 50.

Most experts believe the flu spreads by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk.

"We don't see increases until November, December or January, but it runs through as late as April or May."

The best prevention against the flu is the vaccination for you and your family and the public is taking note.

"I think there's an increase in adults getting the flu vaccination, but the most important groups are the younger kids and older adult."

Roughly 71% of Twin Falls County residents over age 65 have received the flu vaccine in the past year, that's more than the state average at 67%.

A recent CDC study found this year's vaccination is 62% effective. Even when the vaccine does not prevent someone from getting sick, it can lead to a milder illness or prevent complications.


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