WBEZ | flu season http://www.wbez.org/tags/flu-season Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Doctors say it’s not too late to get the flu shot and prevent infection http://www.wbez.org/news/doctors-say-it%E2%80%99s-not-too-late-get-flu-shot-and-prevent-infection-104808 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/flu shot.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Doctors say it&rsquo;s not too late to avoid getting the flu that&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/local-hospitals-are-overflowing-flu-patients-104780" target="_blank">hitting Chicago hard</a>.<br /><br />Health officials say this early flu season could be one of the worst in years causing more hospitalizations and deaths in the state of Illinois.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;It is not too late to be vaccinated,&quot; said a recent statement by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). &quot;The flu season normally runs through March and sometimes later.&rdquo;</p><p>But while some might be reluctant to get the flu shot, the one administered this year can pretty accurately combat the virus going around.<br /><br />Rahul Khare is the Assistant Professor at the Department of Emergency Medicine at Northwestern University. He said, this year, the shot is about 60 percent effective. &nbsp;&nbsp;<br /><br />&ldquo;That&rsquo;s pretty good and if can imagine yourself in bed for four days with really high fevers, and compare that with being really healthy and going to work, to me it seems worth it,&rdquo; Khare said.</p><p>According to Khare, people should spend more time doing outdoor activities instead of staying at home to avoid the illness.</p><p>&ldquo;The thing that causes a spike in viruses in the winter is that we are inside a lot and the virus accumulates and it goes [from] person to person,&rdquo; Khare said. &nbsp;</p><p>In the mean time, experts advise that only people with severe respiratory illness and who have trouble breathing need to visit the emergency room. Others who experience fever and body aches should stay home and rest but call their doctor or schedule an appointment if symptoms worsen.</p></p> Wed, 09 Jan 2013 14:26:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/doctors-say-it%E2%80%99s-not-too-late-get-flu-shot-and-prevent-infection-104808 No shortage of flu vaccine as illness picks up http://www.wbez.org/news/no-shortage-flu-vaccine-illness-picks-104764 <p><p>Flu is on the upswing in Illinois along with the most of the rest of the nation.</p><p>Illinois Department of Public Health spokeswoman Melaney Arnold says almost 150 people have been admitted to intensive care units with the flu this season and five have died.</p><p>Eight Chicago-area hospitals were turning away ambulances Monday night as they dealt with a flood of patients with flu-like symptoms.</p><p>U.S. health officials say the strain of influenza virus going around this year has been linked to more hospital admissions and deaths.</p><p>It isn&#39;t too late to get a flu shot, and there&#39;s no shortage of flu vaccine.</p><p>Dr. Julie Morita of the Chicago Department of Public Health says city residents can call 311 to find out where to get a free flu shot.</p></p> Tue, 08 Jan 2013 10:32:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/no-shortage-flu-vaccine-illness-picks-104764 Clever Apes: What the flu? http://www.wbez.org/blog/clever-apes/2012-02-29/clever-apes-what-flu-96851 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2012-February/2012-02-29/Flu.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Image of the 2009 H1N1 influenza. (C. S. Goldsmith and A. Balish, CDC)" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-February/2012-02-29/Flu.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 492px;" title="Image of the 2009 H1N1 influenza. (C. S. Goldsmith and A. Balish, CDC)"></p><p>Just the other day, I was feeling lucky because I haven't gotten a cold or flu this winter. Maybe all that hand washing and hand sanitizing was paying off. &nbsp;Maybe, maybe not? It turns out that this year's flu season is just off to a late start. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control recently <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/media/haveyouheard/stories/flu_activity_increasing.html">reported</a>&nbsp;that this year's flu season is one of the latest in the past 30 years.</p><p>Even though the flu hasn't been making big headlines this year, there is still good reason to remain vigilant in fighting the disease. The influenza virus can <a href="http://www.wbez.org/gspitzer/2009/04/spitzer-splainer-this-flu-virus-likes-to-bump-and-rub/3238">mutate</a> rather easily, and just recently <a href="http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=new-h3n2-flu-strain-from-swine">a new strain</a> of the H3N2 swine flu was found in a small outbreak in Iowa. The constant mutation of viruses keeps researchers guessing as to which strain is best to use when developing a vaccine. Some scientists are hopeful that a <a href="http://www.labspaces.net/117923/_Universal__vaccines_could_finally_allow_for_wide_scale_flu_prevention">universal vaccine</a> might be possible based on traits that almost all flu viruses share. &nbsp;</p><p>Clever Apes host Gabriel Spitzer recently sat down with <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez">The Afternoon Shift</a> host Steve Edwards to discuss all things flu. &nbsp;You can hear their conversation by clicking "Listen to this story" above or by subscribing to our <a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/wbezs-clever-apes/id379051174">podcast</a>.</p></p> Wed, 29 Feb 2012 22:15:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/clever-apes/2012-02-29/clever-apes-what-flu-96851 A new defense against germs http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/new-defense-against-germs <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/hand sanitizer.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Illinois public health officials are reporting a relatively mild flu season so far. It may be too early to tell but flu shots and generous gobs of hand sanitizer seem to be keeping flu bugs at bay. But don&rsquo;t get complacent; that ever-present alcohol-based hand sanitizer is not perfect. <br />&nbsp;</p><p>For one thing, the second hands dry, they can start picking up new germs. Now, owners of a company in west-suburban St. Charles say they have an answer for that: A sanitizer that with just one application lasts all day. <br />&nbsp;</p><p>WBEZ science reporter <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/clever-apes" target="_blank">Gabriel Spitzer</a> spoke with Aaron Powers, president of <a href="http://www.prefense.com/" target="_blank">Prefense LLC</a>, to learn how the <a href="http://www.prefenzbotanicals.com" target="_blank">Prefenz Botanticals</a> hand sanitizer came about.<br />&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 07 Dec 2010 15:13:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/new-defense-against-germs