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Oct 24, 2019

Healthy Living: Best Time for the Flu Shot

Did you know that this is the best time of year to get your flu shot? As the rains have poured down the past few days and the expected cooler temperatures lie ahead, now is your best shot at preventing any future debilitating flu. We find out more in tonight’s Healthy Living.

Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

A sudden fever, aches, stuffiness, and coughs are just some of the miserable symptoms associated with the flu. Every year around this time, there’s an anticipated increase of people falling victim to the flu.


Dr. Cecilio Eck, Pediatrician

“We do know looking at the statistics that Australia had an awful flu season this year, and so when we speak to the flu experts in the north, they are telling us we should brace for the worse. Our normal flu season should be from October to about late February or March. The rainy season starts the cold fronts start to come down. That’s when the flu virus thrives and starts to spread. It also coincidentally coincides with school coming back into session. So September October, the kids go back. They share the love.”


Cecilio Eck

Pediatrician Dr. Cecilio Eck notes that some often take the viral illness much too lightly.


Dr. Cecilio Eck

“If it escalates, it can lead to viral pneumonia and infection in the lung. It can lead to sepsis or the opportunistic bacteria that spread all over, and it can put you in the ICU. I tell people every year if you come to the major hospitals and you ask for statistics; you will realize that the flu is not something to be trifle with.”


Luckily the flu vaccine is available in Belize yearly. With the start of the flu season, this is the best time and best shot at preventing the flu.


Dr. Cecilio Eck

“Taking the flu shot will protect you from the flu virus. The flu virus is not the common garden like the other viruses that you get out there. It won’t protect you from getting the cold. It won’t protect you from a sore throat or little ear infections, but it will prevent you from getting the debilitating one week two weeks out of work seasonal flu. Our entire staff gets it. It’s because we’re the front line. All medical personnel, all the sick people, come to us, so we should get out flu shots first, and it does protect us.”


It is especially important that children over six months, older persons sixty-five and over, people with diabetes, hypertension, cancer, asthma, HIV, or any other chronic illness get their flu shot. Other adults who come in contact with a lot of people should get it as well.


Dr. Cecilio Eck

“The police officers, customs officer, immigration people, teachers, any vendor in a big store, or people at B.T.L. as long as you have a lot of contact with a lot of people you need to get it and all school-aged children should get it as well.”


As for babies less than six months – who can’t get a flu shot – Dr. Eck urges their family members to do their part.


Dr. Cecilio Eck

“That entity is called herd immunity as long as we protect eighty to eighty-five; ninety percent the risk of it spreading diminishes significantly.”


The flu vaccines are usually available around this time of year. Vulnerable persons can get it for free at the public clinics and for a fee at the private institutions.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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