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Doctors recommend vaccinations ahead of flu season

A local doctor recommends getting vaccinations ahead of the upcoming flu season.

Influenza experts continue to keep a close eye on the flu as it moves from Southeast Asia and Australia over to the U.S.

Australia has already documented more than 160,000 cases of the flu, an increase of more than 70,000 compared to last year, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. David Sauceda of the Valley Children's Clinic in Harlingen says one explanation might be the low vaccination rate. In Australia, only about 10 percent get their flu shot.

"Part of that is just they figure it's just the flu and they'll be alright, but what they've seen this past year is that their number of cases in the flu have dramatically risen and so have their number of deaths," Sauceda said.

While looking at other countries can be a good indicator, Sauceda says it’s still difficult to predict exactly what the flu season will be. Sauceda added that Valley residents are good about getting their vaccines, so cases of the flu are lower.

"This is the one means that we have right now that we can protect you and more importantly, protect our community, by trying to reduce the spread of this virus," said Sauceda.

Sauceda warns against getting the flu vaccination if you’ve already contracted the virus, as it can cause more harm than good.

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