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Bartell Drugs to help ward off the flu for the New Year

Dec. 20th, 2016, 7:30 pm - Dec. 1st, 2017, 8:30 pm

SEATTLE—The holiday season brings together family and friends, but it also increases the chances of contracting the flu.

Bartell Drugs is here as your convenient and affordable place to get that flu vaccination for you and your entire family.

Flu season is starting to take hold across the country, and U.S. health officials are urging everyone who hasn’t gotten a flu shot yet to get one now.

According to epidemiologists with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, national flu levels are currently low and scattered, yet evidence points to an increase in outbreaks, including here in the Pacific Northwest.

Most of the virus out there is influenza H3N2 with H1N1 still circulating. H3N2 is a strain that is part of this year’s flu vaccine, according to the CDC. The vaccine supply is good this year, with more than 131 million doses available.

The range of hospitalization is still low, but as with most H3N2 seasons, the highest rate right now is in the elderly.

The overall rate of hospitalizations for flu is about 2 out of every 100,000 cases. In the elderly, it’s 7 per every 100,000.

Flu activity will increase, says Christina Ree, Bartell’s Clinical Programs Manager. “We don’t know how severe the season is going to be, so it’s important to get vaccinated before flu activity picks up. Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself,” she said.

In a typical flu season, flu complications—including pneumonia —send more than 200,000 Americans to the hospital. Death rates linked to flu vary annually, but have gone as high as 49,000 in a year, according to the CDC.

Most of the time, flu activity peaks between December and March but can last as late as May.

How effective a vaccine is depends on how good a match it is to the strains of flu virus circulating that year. Most years, the vaccine is between 40 percent and 60 percent effective, according to the CDC.

Getting your flu shot soon is important because it can take several weeks to produce enough antibodies to give you maximum protection, officials noted.

More information

For more on flu, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/complications.htm

About Bartell Drugs:
Family-owned since 1890, Seattle-based Bartell Drugs is proud of its more than 126-year history based here in the Northwest. Four generations of the Bartell family have continuously focused on the future — and how the drugstore chain can better serve its customers. With exceptional customer service, locally made products and a focus on your overall wellbeing, Bartell Drugs is here to help. Operating 65 locations in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties, it is the nation’s oldest family-owned drugstore chain.  For more information on Bartell Drugs, visit www.bartelldrugs.com.

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Media Contact:

Ric Brewer, Senior Communications Manager, Bartell Drugs, 206-933-9416 or ric.brewer@bartelldrugs.com

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