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Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Will it be a bad flu season?/ Mammal Hall restoration / Harrisburg book festival

Written by Merideth Bucher, Producer | Oct 11, 2018 3:55 AM

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What to look for on Smart Talk Thursday, October 11, 2018:

It's back! The flu season has arrived and with it, the debate over the flu vaccine.

Health officials encourage people to get their flu shots by the end of October. In the U.S., flu season begins in October and can last as late as May, with most activity peaking in February.

The CDC recommends everyone ages six months and older get a flu vaccine each season, particularly those in high risk categories: young children, elderly, pregnant, and those with compromised immune systems. The vaccine is shown to reduce flu related illnesses and serious complications that can result in hospitalization or even death.

Every year, there seems to be debate about the efficacy of the previous year's vaccine.

According to the CDC, the vaccine is designed to protect against the three or four influenza viruses their research indicates are most likely to spread and cause illness. Choosing which viruses to protect against is a scientific process that involves multiple labs around the globe. In other words, it is a very educated, scientific guess.

Joining Smart Talk to discuss the flu season and the vaccination program is Dr. John Goldman, MD, Vice President and System Epidemiologist, UPMC Pinnacle.

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Dr. John Goldman, MD

Also, the State Museum of Pennsylvania is celebrating 50 years of Mammal Hall, one of its most popular exhibits. A three-year restoration project costing $680,000 was recently completed and the hall rededicated. The special collection of dioramas depict common and rare species of Pennsylvania in their natural habitats.

Watch this video explaining aspects of the renovation. (Story continues below.)

When Mammal Hall first opened in 1968, it was the second gallery installed at the museum. Each diorama features mammals in their natural locations throughout Pennsylvania, depicting all seasons of the year and various times of day.

The State Museum of Pennsylvania, adjacent to the State Capitol in Harrisburg, is one of 24 historic sites and museums administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. The State Museum also offers interpretations showcasing Pennsylvania's heritage, featuring exhibits examining the dawn of geologic time, the Native American experience, the colonial and revolutionary eras, a Civil War battleground, and the commonwealth's industrial age.

Joining Smart Talk to discuss the Mammal Hall restoration project is Beth Hager, State Museum Director.

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Beth Hager

Also, Midtown Scholar Bookstore owner Catherine Lawrence is in the studio to talk about the 6th annual Harrisburg Book Festival that begins Thursday.

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Catherine Lawrence

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