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Health Department warns of active flu season, encourages flu vaccination

The Florida Department of Health in Gulf and Franklin Counties reported beginning to see an increase in influenza-like illness visits.

“It is expected that we may experience higher-than-usual flu activity this season,” said the DOH in a release. “Australia, which experiences their flu season first and often foreshadows our season, had an early start to their season and experienced a more severe season than in recent years.”

It is typically recommended to get vaccinated by the end of October, but the DOH emphasized that late vaccination may still provide protection during the peak of flu season.

For people 65 years and older, there are three flu vaccines that are preferentially recommended over?standard-dose, unadjuvanted flu vaccines. These are Fluzone High-Dose?Quadrivalent vaccineFlublok Quadrivalent recombinant?flu vaccine and Fluad Quadrivalent adjuvanted flu vaccine. More information is available at Flu & People 65 Years and Older.

In addition to flu, there has also been an increase in Respiratory Syncytial Virus across the U.S. and Florida, with some regions nearing seasonal peak levels. Most people recover in a week or two, but RSV can be serious, especially for infants and older adults.

There is no vaccine for RSV, but there are steps that you can take to protect your children and loved ones. These include frequent handwashing, covering coughs and sneezes, disinfecting high-touch surfaces, avoiding touching your face and avoiding contact with sick people. For more information on RSV, click the link here.

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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