flu

Marcie Sillman talks with registered nurse Heather Barr about a King County initiative to provide flu shots to homeless people.  Barr is a nurse with King County's Healthcare for the Homeless Network.

health flu shot
Flickr Photo/Government of Alberta (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with Dr. Jeffrey Duchin about why this year's flu vaccine may be not very effective against the most common flu strain. Duchin is chief of epidemiology for Public Health - Seattle & King County.

The symptoms of the flu are familiar: fever, chills, cough, congestion, feeling very, very tired. If you're a healthy adult under 65, you'll most likely recover in a week or two.

But for those older than 65, things can get worse fast, says Dr. H. Keipp Talbot, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University.

Brace yourselves: Flu season is coming. And along with the coughing, fevers and aches, you can expect a lot of unreliable or downright wrong information about the flu vaccine.

Many people underestimate the health risks from flu. Thousands of Americans die from flu-related complications in a typical year, and last season's H1N1 strain hit young adults particularly hard.

This year's flu season is hitting younger and middle-aged adults unusually hard, federal health officials say.

More than 60 percent of flu patients who ended up in the hospital this year have been between the ages of 18 and 64. The proportion of young people among the hospitalized is much higher than usual, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Only about 35 percent of flu patients who were hospitalized in the previous three years fell into that age group, the CDC says.

Feeling Sick? Flu Season Is In Full Swing

Jan 6, 2014
Flickr Photo/cassie_jean

Marcie Sillman hears from Dr. Jeffrey Duchin, chief of communicable disease epidemiology and immunization for Public Health in Seattle and King County, about this year's flu season.

The latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show Washington, Oregon and Idaho are among 25 states now facing widespread cases of the flu.

Flickr Photo/Diane Cordell

Producer Andy Hurst talked with Dr. Paul Kassab, primary care physician at Virginia Mason Medical Center, about the arrival of influenza season and flu prevention.

President Obama has nominated REI executive Sally Jewell for Secretary of the Interior.  What should she focus on if she is confirmed?  How should she manage the vast public lands that would be in her portfolio? We talk with local experts and conservationists. Join the discussion by emailing weekday@kuow.org.

Yuya Tamai / Flickr

Here’s another reason why it’s tough being a janitor: In a recent survey, people who clean work places are more prone to the flu.