Spokane doctors say take the flu seriously - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Spokane doctors say take the flu seriously

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With flu season starting early this year, medical experts are urging people to get flu shots. With flu season starting early this year, medical experts are urging people to get flu shots.
SPOKANE, Wash. -

With flu season starting early this year, medical experts are urging people to get flu shots. Already three people in Spokane County have been hospitalized for the flu, and doctors say the flu shot is an easy step in preventing and spreading the virus.

Mark Stringer, an epidemiologist in Spokane says the first flu-related hospitalization this year was in late September which is much earlier than normal. "Usually we have our first hospitalization sometime in November.

Most people over six months old are eligible for a flu shot. It's especially important for people considered most "at risk" to get them, like elderly people, children under 5, pregnant women and those who have a chronic medical condition.

Flu shots are offered at many pharmacies, clinics and doctors' offices in the area at low or no cost to patients and can help to save lives.

"Flu is a very significant killer in the U.S. and we want to encourage people to take it seriously," says Stringer.

Local physician William Lockwood says the fear of immunizations shouldn't be a deterrent when it comes to vaccinating yourself or your family.

"There's a lot of concern in the last few years over immunizations and none of it's been scientifically based," says Lockwood. "Again and again, immunizations are shown to be more benefit than harm."

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