Taking The Temperature Of One Hot Flu Season

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In this file photo, a sign telling customers that they can get a flu shot in a Walgreen store is seen in Indianapolis. (Darron Cummings/AP)
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Are you fighting the flu? You’re not alone. Flu cases are up nationwide. We’ll look at who it’s hitting hardest and why.

It is the peak of the flu season right now, and man oh man, the toll has been steep. I’ve had it. Maybe you have too. Workplaces and classrooms across the country have been almost cleared out some places by the flu’s fever and chills and worse. At best, it’s a burden. At worst, it can – and does – kill. So, what makes a good or bad flu season? A good, bad, or moderately effective flu shot? A wicked flu bug? And how can you dodge the bullet? This hour On Point, the flu, in full flower, right now — Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Dr. William Schaffner, professor of preventative medicine in the department of health policy at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, where he is also a professor of medicine in the division of infections disease.

Dr. John Treanor, chief of infectious diseases at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Denise Stern, president and CEO of Let Mommy Sleep, an overnight childcare service for newborns from birth to six months of age.

Dr. John Marshall, director of the Ruesch Center for the Cure of Gastrointestinal Cancers at Georgetown University.

From Tom’s Reading List

Associated Press: Slammed by the flu, businesses scramble to get work done — “Human resources consultants have been hearing from company owners overwhelmed by flu-related absences. In its latest report, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 35 states had moderate to high levels of flu cases. More than 5 percent of people seeking medical help complained of flu-like symptoms during the week ended Feb. 11, up from a baseline of 2.2 percent, the CDC said.”

NPR News: A Bit More Vitamin D Might Help Prevent Colds And Flu — “It’s long been known that vitamin D helps protect our bones, but the question of whether taking vitamin D supplements helps guard immunity has been more controversial. An analysis published Wednesday suggests the sunshine vitamin can help reduce the risk of respiratory infections, including colds and flu — especially among people who don’t get enough of the vitamin from diet or exposure to sunlight.”

NBC News: Flu Vaccine Protects About Half the Time, CDC Says — “The current flu vaccine is about so-so — it protects about half of people from infection, health officials said Thursday. That’s not as good as last year’s formula. but it’s better than in some past years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.”

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