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Should you get the flu shot? A UTEP flu specialist weighs in

Should you get the flu shot?

Reaction from flu concerns

El Paso, TX -
     Should you get the flu shot?

    It's a question many El Pasoans are torn with after the El Paso Public Health Department confirmed a woman died from the flu, even though she had been vaccinated.

     Health officials say the El Paso area has seen a significant amount of flu activity in the region.

     As of the second week of January the number of flu cases in El Paso is at is 2,946. 

     That is compared to 3,377 at the same time last flu season.

      Health officials say the woman who died from the virus was in her mid-20s, she had no underlying medical conditions and she had been vaccinated.

     UTEP associate professor, Dr. German Rosas-Acosta is an expert in when it comes to studying the flu.
     He says while the woman's death is puzzling, it shouldn't deter others from getting the flu vaccine.

   "The vaccine will help you no matter what," Dr. Rosas-Acosta said. "It (the woman's death) only tells you that the flu can be very surprising on its own in the way that it interacts with every person and the way that it presents itself. It might be different and that's why you have to keep your eyes open whenever you suspect that you have the flu."

     Dr. Rosas-Acosta also says that by not getting the flu vaccine, your symptoms could be worse if you do come down with the flu.

     He also says that children especially should also be vaccinated.

    "Kids actually serve as a good transmission vehicle for the flu," Dr. Rosas-Acosta said. "Then they end up transmitting the flu to people who are really at higher risk of getting complications through the flu."
      ABC-7 asked Dr. Rosas-Acosta what he believes may have caused the woman's death.

     He said it's possible the vaccine the woman received was to treat a particular strain of the flu, and she might have ended up contracting a tougher strain of the flu virus.

     Not all flu viruses are the same and some vaccines protect against certain types.

     January is the peak of the flu season and with more people coming down with the virus, Dr. Rosas-Acosta believes it's better to be safe than sorry.

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