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Dr. Knapp on KVUE: Expect ‘Lots of Flu’ in February, Too

It’s been a long, agonizing and deadly flu season so far in Texas and across the US – and guess what? As Austin Regional Clinic Pediatrician Elizabath Knapp, MD, noted in a new KVUE-TV interview, “We will have lots of flu that happens in February.”

This influenza season still may not have reached its peak, which typically occurs during the first two months of the year. That is why ARC continues to encourage those who are healthy to get flu shots and those who feel ill to quickly see a doctor.

How effective is this season’s flu vaccine? Less effective than prior years, Dr. Knapp noted, but it can protect you enough so that you don’t get seriously sick and risk being hospitalized – or dying. And the sooner you get the shot, the better. Dr. Knapp noted it takes about two weeks for the vaccine to become effective.

Can I breathe in germs exhaled by someone sick with the flu? A recent study suggested just sharing air with a flu patient can spread flu, but Dr. Knapp noted it’s just one study, unproven by other researchers. She added that wearing a surgical mask can protect against breathing in germs.

What else can you do to protect yourself from the flu? Wash your hands frequently. Cover your mouth with your elbow when coughing or sneezing. Stay home if you’re sick.

Who is most at risk of dying or being hospitalized? Pregnant women, young children, older adults, those with chronic health problems – but that doesn’t mean others are risk-free. Think about it this way: if it were your grandparents or your kids, wouldn’t you want them to be protected by this potentially deadly virus?

Watch the complete interview on KVUE.com.

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