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Whooping cough, flu season in full swing

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - Chilly temperatures this week are probably keeping people indoors. Health officials say that’s why viruses continue to spread. The seasonal flu is in full swing.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 UTAH)- Chilly temperatures this week are probably keeping people indoors. Health officials say that’s why viruses continue to spread. The seasonal flu is in full swing. Just two weeks ago, only about 20 people in Salt Lake County were hospitalized from the influenza. This month alone, that number has more than doubled to 53 people.

If you haven’t already, health officials want you to get a flu shot.

“It can take up to two weeks for the body to build immunity against the flu shot and our peak of flu season is right into the new year from December 28th to into the first week of January,” said Salt Lake County Health Department’s Nicholas Rupp.

“My insurance will pay for it and my doctor told me I needed it,” said Magna’s Diane Mallett.

It’s a way to immune your body from what you’re probably seeing spread around your home and in the workplace.

“Co workers yeah, almost everyone at my work is sick right now. And it just starts with one person and it just spreads from there,” said Magna’s Crystal White.

The elderly and the young make up the at-risk group for getting the flu or even Pertussis or whopping cough.

“It's something we see year round. It's always something we're concerned about because you can't vaccinate the youngest, someone 6months of age or younger, from Pertussis. So everyone around an infant needs to be vaccinated against Pertussis,” said Rupp.

Most whopping cough deaths happen to babies because they can’t fight it off. So far, there have been 500 cases of Pertussis this year.

“It's vastly unreported because most people who get it who are adults just have a cough that lingers for a very long time it's not serious it's not dangerous to an adult but they can still transmit it,” said Rupp.

So the key to limit the spread of the flu and whopping cough, besides a vaccine is fundamental: wash your hands. Rupp says hand sanitizers should only be used if soap and water are not available.

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