Lehigh Valley

Health experts warn of early flu season

VIDEO: Flu season comes early in...

LEHIGH VALLEY, Pa. - It may not feel like it outside, but flu season is upon us.

"What we've noticed is that there are already flu cases that are being identified so that's a bit early," said Terry Burger, Director of Infection Control and Prevention at Lehigh Valley Health Network.

Burger says the group has already seen about 10 flu cases this year, calling it an early start to the season. She says the number one way to prevent influenza is to get vaccinated. 

"The safest thing to do is protect yourself, protect your family, protect your coworkers and get vaccinated," said Burger.

Burger says while no vaccine is 100 percent effective, the flu vaccine does help decrease the severity of the illness.  And despite what you may have heard, you can't get the flu from the vaccine but Burger says it's important to understand how you can.

"It is a virus, it is spread by secretions. It's spread by somebody coughing, sneezing, talking in close proximity to someone else," said Burger.

Burger is urging people to get the vaccine sooner rather than later as it takes two weeks to work.

She says it's too early to predict how this flu season will play out but we have a long road ahead.

"Nobody really knows exactly what the flu season's like until it actually starts to ramp up. But it is a little early and it usually lasts a good five to six months," says Burger.

Lehigh Valley Health Network will hold two free flu shot clinics. The first is set for Nov. 4 at Dorney Park and the second will be held at Coca-Cola Park on Nov. 5. The clinics will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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