Spencer Durham, an infectious disease expert in the Harrison School of Pharmacy at Auburn University, urges everyone to get vaccinated as we enter the peak of flu season.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 80,000 people died nationwide last flu season from the illness, which was the highest death toll in at least four decades. So far 97 percent of the positive tests have been for influenza Type A, which causes more serious complications and symptoms than influenza B, Melnick said. Numbers from December show 70 cases of influenza, and eight (8) hospitalizations.
Ottawa's hospitals and Ottawa Public Health are encouraging people who think they have the flu to stay home and rest, take plenty of liquids and ibuprofen or acetaminophen for aches and fever.
"So there is no reason why people should not get the flu shot this year". We stay in touch with people in these households all year long.
"For the current season, the H3N2 strain included in the vaccine has been updated to better match the circulating strain, which will hopefully result in better protection against this strain compared to a year ago", Durham said. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year. "The flu vaccine can keep you from getting the flu, make the illness less severe if you do get it, and keep you from spreading the virus". In order to get the vaccine on the market in time, scientists have to predict the strains months in advance.
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Shahab said this strain first appeared in 2009 and was the dominant strain three years ago.
According to health officials, in comparison with the flu season of 2018, this year's epidemic started slower, so there's still enough time for everyone to get the flu shot.
"CDC monitors flu viruses because changes can impact the effectiveness of flu vaccine".
The 2017-18 flu season was one of the worst in the USA, according to the CDC.
Across the country, the flu is considered to be widespread in two dozen states, including North Carolina. MA has had about 2,200 confirmed influenza cases through the first week of January this season, according to MA state data.
Two more people have died from the flu in San Diego County, bringing this season's total to 11, according to County News Center.