BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Some are calling it the Ebola effect. Health officials say the amount of people getting their flu shots has increased dramatically compared to recent years.

Tracey Leong explains why.

The deadly outbreak of Ebola in West Africa has many people in Maryland concerned with their own health–so much so that they are taking extra measures to be safe.

Flu season has arrived, and Marylanders aren’t taking any chances.

“You don’t really want to get sick,” a kid said.

This year, flu vaccinations are up by nearly a third.

“People are reading the headlines about Ebola and are a little bit anxious and are thinking more about infectious disease and are asking what they can do to protect themselves,” said Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, Maryland Secretary of Health & Mental Hygiene.

Sharfstein says people are fearing for the worst after seeing the thousands who have died from Ebola. They are taking action with their own health, and getting the flu vaccine is one line of defense from a serious illness.

“I’ve had one in the past, and I noticed they are effective,” said Joe Crosby, who is getting a vaccine.

Doctors say they’re pleased to see that more people are getting the flu shot because it’s something people are more susceptible to contracting. We are about a month away from the peak of flu season.

“Flu kills tens of thousands of Americans every year, including a lot of people in Baltimore and Maryland,” Sharfstein said.

“I get one every year because I do volunteer work with pre-K through third graders,” said Sylvia Seymour.

The vaccine not only protects you, but also keeps the flu from spreading.

“Saving the child with cancer or saving the senior with lung disease because they’re much more susceptible to death,” Sharfstein said.

A common misconception about the flu vaccination is that it can cause the flu, but health officials want people to know that is absolutely incorrect.

There are eight health clinics offering free flu shots in Baltimore County.

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