Facing Flu Season

By Kelly McCarthy

October 10, 2012 Updated Oct 10, 2012 at 6:16 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Are you ready for this year's flu season? Two new strains in this year's vaccine to protect against the dreaded virus.

Action News stopped by a local flu clinic to find out what's in store for this flu season.

Each year there's potential for a new strain of influenza.

These strains are used for the flu vaccine.

Scientists research the virus to see which flu strands will circulate and then develop the vaccine.

This year there are two new strains in the vaccine and over 150 million doses have been produced.

"This year they determined that there would be two new strains as opposed to last year, so there's always three strains in the vaccine at this point and this year there are two different strains," said Susan Blythe of the Broome County Health Department.

The Broome County Health Department held a flu clinic on Wednesday for anyone looking to get vaccinated.

Flu Shots are available at a number of different pharmacies, supermarkets, and at county health departments.

It's recommended that everyone older than six months should get vaccinated.

Influenza is more dangerous to those who are very young, very old, or have certain medical issues.

A flu shot takes two weeks before it protects against the virus.

"It will protect for about a year. You will start to lose antibodies and that's why it's important that everybody be vaccinated every year. That and the fact that different strains may circulate," said Blythe.

The Broome County Health Department offers six more flu clinics this year.

The cost is $25.

"So far in this area we haven't seen any influenza to my knowledge. Usually in this area we see it in December, January, and it has peaked in most recent years in March," said Blythe.

Even with a vaccination the health department recommends taking extra measures to stay healthy including getting enough sleep, eating well, and washing your hands often.

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