Health Care

More people die from the flu globally than previously estimated

More people die from the flu globally than previously estimated

Between 291,000 and 646,000 people will died from flu related respiratory illnesses each year.

Estep said flu cases sometimes start cropping up in November and December, but the kinds of numbers the area is now seeing normally don't happen until after the new year, if at all.

Dr Michael Osterholm, who directs The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told Business Insider that the vaccine is, at best, around 10 percent effective on H3N2.

"The shot changes and the immunity wanes with time so you know people that get a flu shot in September by April May that shot is not as effective anymore", he said.

"We typically don't see our peak until January, February", said Haman.

Those include infants six months and under, Children under the age of five, especially those younger than two, adults 65 and older, and people who have medical conditions such as asthma, heart disease, lung disease, blood disorders, kidney disorders, liver disorders, etc., she said.

"The earlier we notice strains of influenza, the better we can combat them", he said.




"The flu vaccine really was meant to stop serious illness and death", said Patricia Quinlisk, Medical Director and State Epidemiologist at Iowa Department of Public Health.

"It just depends actually on each region", Rodriquez said.

Roughly 40 percent of the USA population opts for the vaccine every year, and the CDC estimates it prevents about 5 million flu cases annually across the country.

But the reason the 2017 shot isn't preventing as many cases of the H3N2 strain is that while scientists were growing the virus in chicken eggs, that strain mutated. "So, you might as well get it and it will protect you to some extent and will cause you to protect your family and the people around you, because you won't be getting ill with the flu and spreading it".

Haman doesn't understand why our state is seeing such an increase in the flu this early, but he's definitely pushing for one thing--the flu shot.

"If you've had the flu vaccine and you still get the flu you are much less likely to be hospitalized with pneumonia, than if you didn't have the vaccine at all", said Dr. Hawse.

Keep in mind it takes about two weeks for the vaccine to take effect and good hand washing will also offer protection against germs.


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