EDITORIAL: Flu season here again

It happens every year about this time – the flu bug hits.

It’s nothing new, the flu comes and goes every year. Some of us get it, others avoid it.

The only difference is these new strains of influenza are causing concern for a different age group, particularly as deaths occur.

It seems in the past, when an elderly person died from the flu it was too often chalked up to old age and possibly not taken as seriously. But now that this strain is hitting younger generations there appears to be more of a panic.

“This year it seems to be hitting young adults (20 to 65) and pre-schoolers,” said Dr. Rob Parker, medical health officer with Interior Health Authority.

Parker went on to point out that the recent death in the Okanagan of a woman in her 50s shows that this strain can be serious for the middle-aged, not just seniors.

Pre-schoolers are at risk for the simple fact that many of them have never been exposed to H1N1, therefore they have not built up any immunity to it.

Perhaps fewer toddlers are getting the flu shot, and immunizations, because more parents are starting to question them?

But Dr. Parker also said the vast majority of parents out there are getting their children immunized. Those who are dead set against the shot will never be swayed, he added, while others perhaps just don’t have the right information.

The flu shot is a killed vaccine, it can’t make you sick. There can be side effects, but aren’t they better than the risk of possible death?

Another bonus for parents worried about the pain of a needle for their children – there is actually a vapour (a quick quirt up the nose) for little ones.

- Black Press

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