CDC warns about worse flu season than years past

CDC warns about worse flu season than years past

CDC warns about worse flu season than years past

The flu vaccine changes each year in anticipation of the strains mostly likely to predominate in the season ahead.

The flu virus spreads through tiny droplets produced when people with the flu cough, sneeze or talk.

"A low level of [vaccine] efficacy means more individuals may be affected by the flu", said Dr. Bruce Hirsch, a specialist in infectious diseases at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, a division of the Northwell Health system. Experts believe that the United States will have to endure the most unsafe flu season, with the same characteristics as the 2014 outbreak.

The flu vaccine covers four different strains of influenza, and Dr.

Lab tests across Canada have so far shown the most common type of sub-strain is one which takes an especially hard toll on the elderly, a type of Influenza A called H3N2, officials say.

The first two flu-related deaths of the season were reported in the Flathead Wednesday afternoon.

Though the vaccine may not be flawless, Zimmerman emphasized that it's still a good idea to get it to protect not only one's own health, but also the health of loved ones. However, that strain had mutated, making the vaccine less effective. Flu shots are available through your health care provider or through the flu clinic at the Coconino County Public Health Services District.

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Nevertheless, the state is urging everyone to get a flu shot. "We're having about five times the amount of influenza B pickup during the autumn period in British Columbia than we typically have", she said.

Though the accuracy and effectiveness of each year's vaccine varies, this year's seems on track to provide good protection against the Influenza A strains now predominating, health officials say.

If you do get flu, keep it to yourself, Mills said.

No doubt, the flu vaccine has saved millions and millions of lives over the last 80 years, but it's still a bit of a crap-shoot year to year. Nationwide since October 1, 566 have been hospitalized for influenza and 148 million doses of the flu vaccine have been distributed.

While doctors and health departments in our area have heard about the possible effectiveness of the vaccine, everyone I talked to is still urging people to get the shot, because the flu is still a very serious problem.

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