Doctors urge people to get flu shots

Posted at: 09/17/2013 6:32 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

There’s no need to wonder when flu season will arrive in New Mexico this year – it’s already here.

A sixty-year-old man from Bernalillo County is the state’s first victim of the 2013-2014 flu season. Last year the first flu case was confirmed in November.

Doctors are urging everybody to get flu shots, but there is some disagreement over how early to get them.

“There’s no 'too early',” said Dr. Jeffrey Thomas, a family physician with Lovelace Health Care Center. “You want to get that flu shot as soon as it becomes available for that year.”

“It’s too soon,” said Connie Cutler, an RN specializing in infectious disease prevention for Main Line Health in Pennsylvania. “It’s probably okay, but what happens with some people is they have a waning immunity as the season continues.”

But with the flu already here, it’s time to get that shot, and there’s little serious debate about who needs one.

“Everyone should get a flu shot,” Dr. Thomas said in an interview at the new Lovelace clinic at 8401 Constitution NE. “Everyone over six months of age, a flu shot is indicated for them. People who are the most at-risk for complications from influenza would be the elderly and people with chronic medical problems.”

Flu symptoms include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, body aches, and tiredness.

The area’s first free flu shot clinic is scheduled for September 28 at UNM Hospital’s Southeast Heights Family Health Care Clinic.