Flu season latest casualty of government shutdown - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Flu season latest casualty of government shutdown

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The latest casualty of the government shut down? Flu season. The Centers for Disease control sent home its fleet of flu trackers Thursday.

With flu season already off to a running start for Novant Health Urgent Care in Matthews, Dr. Charles Bregier says this latest development is cause for concern.

"The fact that 8,000 of them have furloughed, put on unpaid leave for the time being is certainly not good for us," he said.

Without critical data from the CDC on where the worst outbreaks are, Dr. Bregier says this flu season could definitely be affected by the showdown on Capitol Hill.

"It is possible that if some of that information is delayed, there could be an even bigger spike in flu -- flu occurrences in certain areas," he pointed out.

Dr. Bregier says they're not panicking -- at least not yet. Without the CDC's trackers -- they'll rely on health officials at the state level to track flu outbreaks instead.

"Probably there will be some effort for local state and other health departments to increase their surveillance to help people monitor it better," he said.

It why he said, if you haven't gotten your flu shot yet, don't wait any longer.  

"If you haven't gotten the flu shot, get one now," Bregier said. "It takes about two weeks to get immunity."

In the meantime, keep your hand sanitizer handy and wash your hands frequently.

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