Flu Is Spreading Fast This Season

11_30_Flu

US health officials said they are concerned the upcoming flu season could be a bad one, based on reports from the Southern Hemisphere, where the flu season recently ended for the year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognizes the first week in December as National Influenza Vaccination Week to highlight the importance of continuing flu vaccination through the holiday season and beyond.

Cara Gluck, regional director of the Jackson County Health Department, said that while the rest of the state may be experiencing higher volumes of flu-related illnesses, the local area hasn't had a spike in the number of reported cases of influenza.

The predominant strain is H3N2 which mutates rapidly and often results in vaccines being less effective.

Just because you get a flu shot does not mean you won't get the flu.

12_1_Flu
Killer Flu Season Expected This Year

Besides fear of needles, some people don't get vaccinated because they worry about getting sick from the vaccine, but since the virus in the vaccine has been killed, that's not possible. Also, the vaccine protects against other flu strains.

The study points out seasonal flu causes between 300,000 and 500,000 deaths globally each year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The CDC and the California Department of Public Health are recommending everyone over six months old get vaccinated. It is strongly recommended that everyone 6 months old and over get a flu shot each year.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist about other options which are available for certain age groups. One way communities are working on getting more people vaccinated against influenza is by holding school located flu clinics. "I'd say we're about three or four weeks ahead of where we would be in a typical year - but many years are atypical".

Health Canada has reported increased levels of both influenza A and B this year with 2,080 confirmed cases as of late November, and noted that the levels of influenza B were as high as they usually are in mid-February. And it states getting the flu vaccination is the single best way to protect yourself from the flu and its consequences.

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