Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 3:41 AM
The pleasures of the holiday season are sometimes tempered by the fever and fatigue of the flu season. And recent stories of more serious flu strains can be confusing for anyone who just wants to stay as healthy as possible. ideastream's David C. Barnett has more on the Cleveland Health Department's annual immunization program.
Researchers say it is the nature of flu viruses to mutate into a variety of strains, which is why annual flu shots are generally recommended by doctors in order to keep up with the year-to-year changes. Cleveland Health Director Matt Carroll acknowledges that news reports in the past few years of a particularly dangerous strain, passed between birds, has some people worried.
Matt Carroll: There’s been a bird flu in different parts of the world and the concern is that certain type of bird flu would mutate into something that could be easily passed from human to human. We do not have that situation at this point.
Carroll says the City Health Dept monitors international reports regarding potential pandemics and has developed preparedness plans. Right now though, the immediate concern is attending to the regular seasonal flu and immunizing as many Clevelanders as possible. It’s free. To find the nearest location, you can call 644-4621.
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