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Four Different Strains of Flu Making the Rounds, Epidemiologist Says

TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) – If you’ve been sick this season, you’re not the only one. There’s several different strains of the influenza virus making the rounds in south-central Idaho.

“Influenza is in its peak season,” says epidemiologist Tanis Maxwell, public health program manager for South Central Public Health District.

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The flu season usually peaks from December to March, but it can extend for several more weeks. The severity with which a person may be affected by the flu is individualized, she says, depending on how a body reacts to an illness. Four different strains of flu have been detected this season.

Maxwell says it is not too late to get a flu shot. She recommends getting a flu shot even if you already became infected because the vaccine protects against all four strains. You may have been sick with one strain but still susceptible to another.

The vaccine not only helps prevent a person from getting the flu, she says, but if a person still gets the flu after being vaccinated it will help lessen the severity of the illness.

No matter what strain of flu you may have, the recommendation is the same: stay home from work or school if you’re sick so you don’t spread germs, wash your hands frequently, and cover your cough.

Young children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with medical conditions are most susceptible to the influenza virus, Maxwell says.

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