Flu season is nothing to sneeze at

Bryan Strickland
December 8, 2017

On Tuesday, we spoke with doctors about the flu shot, that might not be very effective this year. It is one of the best ways to prevent contracting the flu virus.

"We have seen a little bit of an increase over the last couple of weeks, but nothing that stands out significantly", Mendez said.

Health officials are warning that the flu season could be bad and that it's coming early.

"But we can not say we will go on to experience the kind of severe season Australia had, in part because we ourselves had a fairly severe epidemic due to H3N2 in 2016-17", Skowronski said.

A faulty refrigerator will cost Ontario taxpayers $44,560 after a sudden freeze destroyed the efficacy of more than 5,500 flu vaccines stored in London.

Vermont Health Department officials say they're starting to see cases of the flu early in the season. The dominant strain appears to be H3N2, which causes more severe illness than others.

Four states are reporting widespread outbreaks of the flu. "The flu has the ability to infect each and every one of us, even those who claim they "never get the flu".

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This year's flu vaccine may not be as helpful as in years past.

"Dr. Crowe and his team are experts in figuring out which antibodies are important, making them in bulk, determining their biology, and then evaluating their effectiveness in animal models of infection", Creech said. Flu shots are available through your health care provider or through the flu clinic at the Coconino County Public Health Services District.

"We're seeing earlier cases, and the predominant strain is H3N2, which is different from prior seasons", he adds.

"A vaccine that might not prevent you from getting the flu might prevent you from getting a serious complication". Everyone age 6 months and older is recommended to get a vaccination.

Last year's flu vaccine was updated to include the new version of this protein, but the egg-grown version had acquired a new mutation.

"I think that the key preventative strategy, regardless of how effective that vaccine is going to be this year in the United States, is to get vaccinated", says Dr. Lopez.

In B.C., for instance, low levels of H3N2 infection have been confirmed since the beginning of the season in late August, but a strain known as B/Yamagata has also been found circulating within the population. "And at the end of the day, to know that we might be able to protect the most vulnerable around us with a universal influenza vaccine - that's a reason to get excited about science".

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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