CDC urging Floridians to get flu shot now

The official start of the 2019-2020 flu season is just weeks away, but doctors are already reporting cases of the illness and the Centers for Disease Control is urging Floridians to get vaccinated now.

Last year's flu season lasted longer than it has in more than a decade at about 21 weeks.

News 96.5 WDBO spoke with David Sham, an epidemiologist with the CDC, about why it’s so important to get vaccinated before the season ramps up.

“We’re starting to see some flu, but it’s before the bulk of the flu season is upon us.  There is plenty of vaccine available this year in October.  It’s the perfect time to get your flu shot,” said Sham.

The CDC monitors reports of flu-like illnesses throughout the year and Sham says they’re already busy.

“We do a lot of work with characterizing influenza viruses as they come in through the state public health system and they’re forwarded to the CDC, to see exactly what the antigenic and genetic characteristics of those viruses are,” said Sham.

Despite the CDC’s effort to track influenza leading up to the start of the season, Sham said there is no way to accurately predict what to expect.

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