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    Posted: September 19 2018 at 4:16am

Flu cases confirmed in Western Washington; doctors recommend getting vaccine ASAP

By: John Knicely
Updated: Sep 18, 2018 - 6:00 PM

SEATTLE - The flu season typically gets going in October, but on Tuesday KIRO 7 confirmed that Harborview Medical Center has seen a couple of cases.

Doctors recommend you get the flu vaccine now. KIRO 7 looked into what’s different with this year’s vaccine.

The Centers for Disease Control updated this year's flu vaccine based on the virus seen in other parts of the world. It specifically targets three flu viruses: A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus, A/Singapore/INFIMH-16-0019/2016 A(H3N2)-like virus, B/Colorado/06/2017-like (Victoria lineage) virus.
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The 2017-2018 flu season resulted in 296 lab-confirmed flu related deaths in Washington. It’s impossible to predict the severity of the upcoming flu season, but doctors say now is the time to get the vaccine since it takes two weeks to fully take effect.

“We try to make it as painless as possible,” Swedish Hospital Nurse Molly Hemingson told KIRO 7 as she gave shots at a flu clinic. “And it's a small needle. It's not going to put a big dent in your arm.”

Danyell Walker is a nurse at Swedish who got her shot on Monday. She didn't believe in getting the flu shot until she learned more about the broader impact five years ago.

“Nursing has always been about being an advocate for others,” Walker said. “So, when I understood the injection wasn't just for me, but was to protect others, that made me change my heart about the decision.”

This is the 100-year anniversary of the flu in the United States. In 1918 the flu pandemic first hit, killing 675,000 Americans and 50 million people worldwide.

The past two years, the flu mist was deemed ineffective, but the CDC says it's back on the table this year for people who can't get the shot for medical reasons.

Still, doctors emphasize the flu shot is considered the most effective protection. The CDC recommends the flu vaccine for everyone six months and older, and doctors say the sooner, the better.

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His lips or pen are moving.
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