Health Care

No end in sight for worst flu season in recent memory

No end in sight for worst flu season in recent memory

"For the 2017-2018 season, manufacturers projected they would provide between 151 million and 166 million doses of injectable vaccine for the US market".

The H3N2 Type-A influenza has caused a progressive increase in viral infection because of its severe resistance to the vaccination.

It's only 25 percent effective against the most common strain circulating this year, the H3N2 strain, CDC's Dr. Alicia Fry and colleagues found. The vaccine is available to anyone who has not yet received a vaccine this flu season. It worked best for young children, aged 6 months to 8 years, where it was 59 percent effective.

"We certainly wish we had higher protection against H3N2", report coauthor Edward Belongia, director of the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Population Health at Wisconsin's Marshfield Clinic, tells STAT News. "We're offering free flu shots because confirmed cases of the virus continue to be a significant health threat throughout Pennsylvania".

Although the vaccine may not stop the flu, it will bolster the body's immune response against the virus, tempering its effects. The CDC's midseason estimates of vaccine effectiveness against H1N1 is 67 percent and against B viruses 42 percent.

"We're urging everybody who hasn't been vaccinated, to rush out and get vaccinated", he said. This knowledge should help improve next year's vaccine effectiveness, he said. "This being a particularly bad flu year, people can still get prevention with a vaccine", Solomon said. She was not involved in the CDC research. According to the CDC's website, up to 166 million flu vaccines were produced this year. "It seems like it's a little bit lighter on the West Coast". Hospitals in Fauquier and Prince William counties are reporting higher numbers of the illness compared to a year ago. The illness tracker gave Warrenton a 4.5 out of 10 ranking in level of severity for influenza, and Manassas a 5. The percentage spiked over the last three weeks, and is now higher than at this time in any of the last three flu seasons. But the highest hospitalization rate belongs to the elderly. Even if people still have symptoms, he said, shots usually reduce the odds of severe disease and hospitalization.

Influenza A, or H3N2, is the prevailing strain of influenza in the 2018 season.

As of Tuesday morning, 254 Livingston County residents had lab-confirmed cases of Influenza A, while 56 had lab-confirmed cases of flu B, according to Root.

Thomas commented the health department is now out of adult strength flu shots, but flu shots for children aged 6 months to 18 years old can still be given.

The CDC tested the now approved antiviral medications oseltamivir (brand name Tamiflu), peramivir (Rapivab) and zanamivir (Relenza Diskhaler) against the now circulating flu strains.

Clean your hands frequently.

"Getting vaccinated does not mean you won't get sick, but it can lessen your illness", Adams said. They did, however, underscore that the flu shot should not be feared. "Do it for yourself, your family and your community". "I'll believe it when I see rigorous studies that show it", he said.

Flu season is still here and several preventative measures exist for an individual to avoid catching the virus.