Early flu season could leave more North Dakotans sick

Toni Houston
December 8, 2017

Between twelve-thousand and fifty-six-thousand deaths each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Although it is relatively early in this flu season, influenza activity in SC at this point has been higher than normal.

Despite this guidance, fewer than half of Americans have received a jab this season. The CDC says this is side effect is rare, but a court found Smith was entitled to compensation. "The vaccine doesn't work as well for H3N2 viruses in general".

Other than the vaccine you should also take preventive actions every day to stop the spread of germs like, washing your hands, covering your cough or sneeze and avoiding close contact with people who are sick. Flu related complications can include pneumonia and dehydration. "And I think you have to speak out, stand your ground and make other nurses feel they can as well". While some people get flu even after receiving a flu shot, the vaccine frequently lessens the severity and duration of illness.

Both deaths occurred in patients who were over the age of 65.

"Especially now, during the holiday season of crowds and gatherings of friends and family, everyone older than 6 months should get a flu shot", said Vermont Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD.

The groups medical professionals say are at risk for the flu, older people and pregnant women.

"If you're not excited about getting vaccinated yourself, do it for the people you love", Mills said.

Doctors typically look south to get an idea of what's coming.

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

Even if you don't have a regular health care provider, the flu vaccine is available in many settings. Some flu shots protect against three flu viruses and some protect against four flu viruses.

The biggest drop in flu shot rates was seen among Hispanic adults (down 7.7 percent from last year). "Getting an annual flu vaccination protects seniors, and everyone around them, too, including their grandchildren".

"Everybody's risk is different", Schwartz said.

And the vaccine is no guarantee of protection. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) says flu activity, which has been increasing since the start of November, is now higher than usual for this time of year.

Flannery explained that the journal article looked at Australia's most recent flu season and highlights the low vaccine effectiveness against one type of influenza: the H3N2 strain predominating in the United States today. The flu vaccine is very effective against these, she noted. "There's still some protection against all flu illness in Australia last season. Many are hospitalized and some die". And in Australia, which used the identical vaccine as Canada's this past season, its effectiveness against H3N2 infection was far less - only about 10 per cent.

"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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