This could be a bad flu season

by Jared Lewis December 12, 2017, 17:20
This could be a bad flu season

Flu vaccine is available in the province until March 31 at pharmacists, doctors and through public health clinics.

"So it's possible that we never really saw a complete end to last year's flu season and we're just picking up where we left off, " she said.

The vaccine also takes about two week to provide full protection against the flu so it's advised you get a shot sooner rather than later. Since October 1, the weekly percentage of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza has ranged from 5.7% to 6.2%, which has not exceeded the epidemic threshold of 6.5%.

In addition to your annual flu shot, you can protect yourself by washing your hands often and avoiding people with cold or flu symptoms.

"Our flu season started early this year", explained the Pima County Health Department's Deputy Director, Paula Mandel.

"This is more typical of what we see most years", Shahab said.

However, Dr. Izaddoost said this is "fake news".

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), vaccines are less effective when it comes to the H3N2 virus strain, and more effective against H1N1 viruses.

It's recommended for most everyone six months and older. Since Oct. 1, Mountain States hospitals have recorded 80 positive flu cases.

However, doctors insist we can not underestimate the importance of "herd immunity", and that the shot may be more effective as lessening illness in those who do get sick.

Several areas throughout IL are experiencing heightened flu activity, and one preliminary report shows the flu vaccine may only be 10% effective.

MedExpress pointed to a November 29 perspective published by The New England Journal of Medicine that began: "As clinicians in the United States prepare for the start of another influenza season, experts have been watching the Southern Hemisphere winter for hints of what might be in store for us in the North. Reports from Australia have caused mounting concern, with record-high numbers of laboratory-confirmed influenza notifications and outbreaks and higher-than-average numbers of hospitalizations and deaths".

"A universal vaccine would use conserved proteins of the virus - so it wouldn't change - or would change very little and then we would have the immunity for a long time", said Dr. Dana Hawkinson with the University of Kansas Health System.

She said getting that yearly flu shot is your best weapon. This will also prevent you from infecting other people.

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