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CDC officials encouraging flu shots


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says flu season is upon us.

CDC officials spent Thursday trying to spread the word about flu season and the need for vaccinations. More people are getting vaccinated, falling in line with statistics showing those under 65 who went without the vaccine were more likely to get the flu last year.

Lyn Finelli is CDC's chief of influenza surveillance and outbreak response in the Influenza Division. She says the usual attitude is that flu isn't really that serious because people don't know 20,000 people died last year from influenza.

Finelli says flu victims usually don't know for a while they are sick.

"People are infectious with the flu one day before they actually get symptoms and for a few days afterwards, after they have symptom onset," Finelli said.

"They are most infectious when their fever is the highest. And for adults, they're usually infectious for three or four days and for children a little bit longer."

Finelli says that's why people shouldn't go back to work until 24-hours after the fever goes away. She says there is plenty of flu vaccine available. Kids should get the nasal spray version of the four-virus vaccine. Adults should get the four-virus vaccine if it's available.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.