Flu elevated to 'widespread' in Ohio

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Flu activity in OH has become widespread, the state's highest designation, almost a month earlier than past year and has resulted in a number of hospitalizations in Clark County already. This flu season there have already been 401 flu-associated hospitalizations according to the state. The CDC now recommends that almost all Americans older than six months get a flu shot, with an emphasis on young children, elderly adults and those with chronic illnesses. That number is twice that of reported cases at the same time past year.

"We are still wanting people to get the vaccine, simply because there are still some strains that can be prevented". "But it's going to continue through January and February, so get your flu shot as soon as you can". Most flu vaccinations are made using chicken eggs and contain small amounts of the protein ovalbumin, which has been thought to be a no-go for egg allergy sufferers.

Specifically, the health organizations all found that potential harms of the flu - which for some can be life-threatening - outweighed any potential risks, especially since there is no proven record of people with egg allergies having bad reactions to the flu shot. "Both children and asthmatics are vulnerable populations who are highly recommended to receive annual influenza vaccine, so this subgroup is, in particular, a prime target to protect".

"It's very rare to see an adult with egg allergy - not impossible", he said.

Ask about egg allergy before giving the vaccine.

The guidelines are the result of an analysis of 28 studies involving 4,315 egg allergic patients, including 656 patients with a severe egg allergy.

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The researchers concluded that someone who is allergic to eggs is not at an increased risk of experiencing an adverse reaction to the flu vaccine. "There are no shortages of vaccines available", she said.

Ferguson said besides getting a flu shot, people should wash their hands frequently and cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze.

Dr Atherton said: "We know that children are super-spreaders of germs".

Khan said there is also an intranasal spray version of the vaccine for those who don't want the needle.

As for how effective this year's vaccine will be?