Flu Vaccines Are Still Available During Shutdown

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- Due to the amount of furloughed workers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are concerns about fighting the flu this year.

The CDC typically track the spread and severity of the flu across the country, but because of the shutdown they can't.

Even without the CDC, Dr. Hillary Whonder-Genus with the Harrisonburg Community Health Center said nothing will change about the way she and other doctors treat their patients for flu.

She said because they don't have the CDC information this year, or at least they don't yet, she'll just have to be more aware of when the season hits its peak and pay closer attention to inform patients.

"Knowing when the flu season is going to come helps us put out the word to the community in general on proper flu precautions, which include getting vaccinated, as well as how to handle yourself when you're sick, and to minimize the spread of the infection," said Whonder-Genus.

District epidemiologist Jonathan Falk said the CDC being shut down shouldn't have much of an impact on state and local health departments tracking the regular flu, but it could make a difference when it comes to novel flu, which includes H1N1 or strains of avian flu.

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