If you look at the latest flu map of the United States which measures flu-like activity it seems like everyone is getting sick with something flu-like. Every state except for New Hampshire, Vermont, Michigan, Alaska, and Hawaii has a flu activity level ranging from high to very, very, high. Here in Missouri our level of flu-like illnesses is sitting at a very high level.

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Of course, you might not need a map to tell you lots of people have already been ill this fall. We've already had a couple of people at the office wind up ill. There's a good chance you've experienced that at work too. Or you've had friends who ended up sick over Thanksgiving.

The Missouri Weekly Influenza Surveillance Report from the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services for the week of November 20 - November 26 says, "Influenza activity continued to increase across Missouri during week 47." The summary goes on to say flu activity in Missouri is now widespread and influenza-like illness activity has increased to Level 11 in the very high category.

I'll admit I had to chuckle at the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services saying flu-like illness activity has gone to level 11. It reminds me of that scene in "This Is Spinal Tap" where Nigel Tufnel is showing Marty DiBergi an amp that has dials that go to 11, or one louder than most amps. It certainly seems like this season flu-like illnesses have been amplified, or turned up to 11.

On a more serious note, the CDC says flu activity is high and continues to increase. They say there already have been 8.7 million illnesses, 78,000 hospitalizations, and 4500 deaths this flu season.

If you've been avoiding the flu shot because you seem to get sick after it, you can't get the flu from it. Not to mention the CDC says it's one of the best ways to keep from getting a nasty bout of the flu. There are some potential side effects from the shot though.

You can get a headache, fever, nausea, or muscle aches, so maybe that's what you're thinking is the flu after you get the flu shot. The CDC goes into pretty specific detail about flu shots and their safety, you can check out their information here. I might take a night of not feeling well if it lets me skip a week of feeling like I got hit by a truck.

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