CNN continues to follow the miserable flu outbreak that is weighing down on the country. The CDC says the flu is now widespread in all states except California, Mississippi, and Hawaii. New York Governor Cuomo even declared a public health emergency this weekend. CNN Sr. Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen has the latest on the flu and what health officials mean when they call it an "epidemic."
“Basically, people are getting sick and dying from the flu in certain numbers,” Cohen explains. “When those numbers get high enough, we call it an epidemic.” But Cohen urges not to focus on that word. “Nearly every year there is an epidemic.”
Cohen also explains the significance of Governor Cuomo’s announcement. He’s also telling pharmacies that they can vaccinate kids, while in other years they have to go to their doctors for that. Still, pharmacies are choosing not to vaccinate children. “We put out...many phone calls to, pharmacies in New York, and the pharmacies we called, none of them are offering shots to kids,” Cohen says. In addition, these same pharmacies said they didn't really have enough even for adults.
In common speech, 'vaccination' and 'immunization' have a similar meaning. This distinguishes it from inoculation, which uses unweakened live pathogens, although in common usage either is used to refer to an immunization. '*.,
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