Flu season started early this year

MILAN, Ill. (KWQC) - It's time to prepare for flu season: the CDC wants everyone to get their flu shot before Halloween.

TV6 reporter Montse Ricossa got her flu shot on Thursday, she said, "it wasn't bad at all. I think the anticipation was actually worse than the shot itself."

TV6 reporter Montse Ricossa got her flu shot on Thursday, she said, "it wasn't bad at all. I think the anticipation was actually worse than the shot itself."

What takes the longest for a flu shot is filling out the paperwork. Overall, it takes less than one minute to get the shot, and doctors are asking that you get one soon.

While we may think it's early to prepare for flu season, there's already been one death associated with the influenza virus - a four year old from California.

"Sporadic reports this early is unusual," said Dr. Bill Langley from Genesis Hospital.

Anyone over 6 months old should be getting their flu shot, even if you haven't gotten the flu before. Langley explains healthy people around 25 years old who catch the flu will experience a high fever, feel achy, and won't be able to sleep. However even though kids may be healthy, "they have much less effective immune system. And people over 50, especially over 65 years old have a weakened system in terms of responding to sicknesses. You worry about pneumonia or organ failure because people are doing everything to fight the infection."

Doctors are using Australia as a model for our flu trends since they experience winter before us... and Australia had a different season than usual, "they've had their worst year in the last 10 years. The significant thing is it's like ours, it usually starts really slow and peaks in the dead of winter. They started from the get-go to have very high rates and went all the way through." The CDC reports 136 influenza-associated pediatric deaths occurred during the 2018-2019 season.

You can get your flu shot at many local grocery stores or pharmacies or at your doctor's office.

We put a poll on Facebook about whether or not you were planning on getting your flu shot, as of 10pm on Thursday night, over three thousand people responded. 57% said yes they would get the flu shot, 43% said they would not. Some of the top comments from the poll:
Amy said yes, she's doing it because her "little beauty" is immunocompromised, Lydia said "yes, too many people I love have cancer and respiratory illnesses" and Kyle said he's not anti-vaccinations but he hasn't gotten one in the last 15 years and just makes sure he washes his hands a lot.

Rock Island will be hosting a walk-in flu shot clinic every Tuesday in October and November.

https://www.kwqc.com/content/news/Flu-shot-clinics-offered-at-Rock-Island-Co-Health-Dept-562551201.html