etvfutures.com
etvfutures.com December 17, 2017


Flu season has arrived and it could be a bad one

07 December 2017, 11:22 | Lena Norman

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While this year's vaccine works well against numerous flu virus strains out there, recent studies indicate the vaccine is less effective against the H3N2 strain. The flu usually peaks in January or February, but it can occur as early as October and as late as May. But this year, things are different.

Compared to this time a year ago, experts say there are double the number of confirmed cases of the flu.

Not only has flu season arrived early, but the USA may be particularly hard-hit.

- A new published paper warns that this could be a bad flu season in the United States and the flu vaccine being used could have as low as a 10 percent effectiveness.

There are a several different strains of flu viruses, and the main culprit in Australia was a strain called H3N2.

"They are at high risk of complication from influenza, getting severely ill from influenza, being hospitalized, having a longer hospitalization, ending up in [intensive care] or even dying from influenza", Dr. Dawar said.

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The Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit is still urging people to get their flu shots, despite a medical publication saying it's not very effective this year.

Detection of the flu in those with respiratory viruses was at 10 per cent, most commonly with the A-strain (H3N2) - the common flu - which can affect adults 20 years and older, and especially the elderly and kids.

"It can be due to a change in what's circulating in the human population, or a change in the vaccine that leads to a mismatch" between the virus and the vaccine, Hirsch said. Or the vaccine itself may mutate while it is being grown - currently, vaccines are grown in eggs, but many experts don't think that's ideal as the vaccine virus tends to undergo mutations to adapt to growing in an egg.

Doctors still want you to get the shot, though.

"The flu vaccine takes two weeks to become fully effective", said Dr. Levine.



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