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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – It’s that time of year again.

This year’s flu season is in full swing and the state’s Department of Health is advising everyone to get a flu shot to help prevent you from catching it and spreading it to others. While most cases of flu are mild, there are exceptions.

The department has confirmed there have been two influenza-associated deaths this season; a 7-year-old and a 17-year-old.

“We are saddened by this news and our thoughts are with the family and friends of these children,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. Celeste Philip. “Although most people view the flu as a minimal threat, Floridians should take flu infection seriously as it can cause severe illness, even death, in some cases. Getting your flu shot is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from the flu. If you have not yet received a flu shot, it is not too late.”

The health department has said that flu activity is on the rise in Florida, particularly in groups at high risk including children, pregnant women, people with underlying chronic conditions and people over the age of 65. The noticed an increase in emergency room visits for flu related illnesses.

The annual flu vaccine is safe and is the most effective way to protect against getting it. The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone six months and older, including pregnant women. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for your body to develop protection against the flu.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people get injectable flu shots. Nasal spray vaccine is not recommended for this flu season because of concerns about its effectiveness.


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