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Autumn Nemesis: Influenza

Amidst all the Halloween candy — pumpkins — and cornucopias — it’s easy to forget about a more insidious fall visitor. Flu season is knocking on your door. Laurie Johnson has more.


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Flu season…vaccinations…blah…blah…blah, you’ve heard it all before.

Or have you?

Did you know symptoms of influenza were described by Hippocrates more than 2,000 years ago?  The first documented influenza pandemic was in the year 1580.

And the 20th Century alone saw three major outbreaks of the virus that killed millions of people.

Despite our familiarity with the flu, Dr. Julie Jones with the Harris County Hospital District says it’s not something to be messed with.

“There is actually enough flu vaccine this season for everybody to get a flu shot. So we really want to encourage everyone to think about getting one, even if they haven’t done so in the past.”

That’s not to say everyone needs to make a mad dash to the neighborhood health clinic. Children, the elderly and pregnant women are typically the most susceptible to the illness.

But anyone who wants to can show up for a vaccine.

HCHD has a vaccination clinic running the next four Tuesdays. There’s a link to a list of locations on the Harris County Hospital District website.

And in case you want to bring home one more random flu fact, the word influenza comes from the Italian for influence.

Laurie Johnson. KUHF-Houston Public Radio News.

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Laurie Johnson-Ramirez

Laurie Johnson-Ramirez

News Director

Laurie Johnson-Ramirez leads news coverage for Houston Public Media across broadcast and digital platforms. Ramirez is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. Before becoming News Director, Ramirez held the position of Executive Producer for Daily News, leading daily and breaking news coverage, helping...

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