Expect a Bad Flu Season

Expect a Bad Flu Season

Expect a Bad Flu Season

If you do catch the flu, Brammer suggests taking antivirals such as Tamiflu to reduce the number of days you are sick.

Flu season is building momentum in ME, with both outpatient medical visits and hospitalizations on the rise.

"The most predictable thing about flu is that it's unpredictable", Brammer said. While some people get flu even after receiving a flu shot, the vaccine frequently lessens the severity and duration of illness.

A year ago in Canada and the USA, the vaccine was found to be only 35 per cent effective in preventing cases of H3N2 influenza, she said.

Experts say there's still plenty of time to benefit from getting a flu vaccine, which are widely available at medical offices, pharmacies and other sites.

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"We recommend that for everyone 6 months and older, if you haven't received your vaccine yet, now is the time to get it", said Shannon Stokley, an associate director for science in the immunization services division at the CDC. She was rushed between three hospitals and lay in a medically-induced coma for two weeks while her small body struggled to recover.

"People from those areas are getting ready to travel for the winter holidays, and they'll bring flu with them", Mills said.

However, as Dr. Tanya Altmann, a pediatrician and spokeswoman for the American Academy of Pediatrics, pointed out, the flu has potentially serious complications such as pneumonia, bronchitis and sinus and ear infections. "So if you need to be out and about running errands and meeting up with friends and family, it's wise to protect yourself-and them-as best you can".

However, Australia also experienced significant cases of influenza B, said Skowronski, and parts of Canada appear to be mimicking that pattern in the early months of the Northern hemisphere's flu season. Children, pregnant women, and those 65 and older are at particular risk, as are those with chronic lung conditions. Qualifying children and adolescents can receive flu vaccine provided by the Texas Vaccines for Children program. The cost of adult flu vaccine is $25.00. There it was only 10 percent effective, and it's predicted to be similar in the states.

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