Flu season soars in the United States, especially in the South

08 December, 2017, 02:06 | Author: Cassandra Gardner
  • Cases of flu higher than normal, according to CDC

The Center of Disease Control and Prevention said there's already twice the amount of flu cases this year, compared to last.

Flu shots help protect us from the highly contagious, debilitating illness that can have severe complications in some portions of the population.

"Everyone should get vaccinated every year it's for the best for them and for everyone as a whole", Beard.

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.

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Added to that uncertainty is the question of how effective this season's vaccine may be in preventing people from getting the flu. Some flu shots protect against three flu viruses and some protect against four flu viruses. The drug works best when taken right when you get sick, so seeing your doctor early is a good move, she said.

"It is recommended you get your flu shot starting in the fall", Walz said.

Usually, a H3N2 portends a severe flu year, but mild H3N2 years have also occurred, she said.

The flu season is declared under-way once we have reached an above-average number of people with influenza symptoms (i.e. more than 2.2 percent of people). Individuals can contact the health department at 325-646-0554 for information about the cost of the flu vaccine for children.

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The number of flu vaccines given out at the Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health District is also up.

The flu shot you'll get is the same that used in Australia. "Getting it during the holiday season is even worse", said Chakravarty. Other groups who are at high risk include children 5 and younger, pregnant women and those with chronic medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease. "There's still some protection against all flu illness in Australia last season".

"When we measure vaccine effectiveness, that's effectiveness against protecting against disease completely", said Schaffner, who was not involved in the CDC research, though he is a liaison representative of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which develops recommendations on the use of vaccines for the CDC.

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