MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Flu season is officially upon us. This year’s strain looks to be an especially serious one for certain people.

June Englund stays quite busy at Augustana Apartments in downtown Minneapolis. The avid artist says, “for the first time I’m going to try acrylics this winter.” At 93 years young, she’s seen a lot of frigid seasons and a lot of flu seasons.

“I was a medical technologist so we had to have our shots,” Englund said.

So she faithfully gets her shot year after year.

“It’s foolish not to take advantage of anything that can help you remain healthy,” Englund added.

And according to the Department of Health, it’s even more important this year that seniors get their flu shots. Data from the southern hemisphere where winter is wrapping up shows this year’s strain could be nasty.

“Influenza A H3N2 was one of the predominant strains that circulated and we know that when that strain circulates we tend to see more severe disease in the elderly and the young,” Kris Ehresmann of the Minnesota Dept. of Health Infectious Disease Director said.

People 65 and older like Englund are supposed to get an enhanced dose of the vaccine, which can sometimes be harder to find.

“If you aren’t able to find it our recommendation is to get vaccinated with the traditional vaccine because its more important that you are vaccinated than you got the specific type of vaccine,” Ehresmann explained.

And it’s not only seniors, the health department says the general vaccine supply is strong and everyone over 6-months-old should get a shot.

Englund agrees. “Don’t be foolish!” she said with a laugh.

The MDH just released its first data of the season. They say about 2% of people going into doctor’s offices right now have the flu.

The vaccine this year comes in shot form and in a nasal spray.

For more information click here.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield

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