Vanderbilt Influenza Vaccine Initiative working to create a universal flu vaccine
08 Декабря, 2017, 01:38 | Author: Leticia Riley
If you haven't already gotten your flu shot, local health professional believe you should because experts say this flu season will be a bad one. It is one of the best ways to prevent contracting the flu virus. "And, nationally, there's been a significant increase in the last several weeks as well", says Allegheny General Hospital internist Dr. Marc Itskowitz.
Doctors say December through February is the peak of flu season and you need to get your shot as soon as possible.
"But we can not say we will go on to experience the kind of severe season Australia had, in part because we ourselves had a fairly severe epidemic due to H3N2 in 2016-17", Skowronski said.
Added to that uncertainty is the question of how effective this season's vaccine may be in preventing people from getting the flu. The U.S. sees 140,000 to 710,000 hospitalizations and 12,000 to 56,000 deaths every year from the flu. In Australia, where winter flu season occurs during the Northern Hemisphere's summertime, health officials saw quite a bit of flu cases caused by the H3N2 strain-a strain typically associated with more hospitalizations and more deaths.
Though the vaccine may not be flawless, Zimmerman emphasized that it's still a good idea to get it to protect not only one's own health, but also the health of loved ones.
The CDC estimates that the flu virus has caused between 9.2 million and 35.6 million illnesses in the USA each year since 2010. "It is also notable to state that over time the flu vaccine does wear off, making it necessary to receive it annually".
Getting the flu vaccine not only protects yourself, but the people around you as well.
Despite concerns over the effectiveness, experts said the yearly flu vaccine is still recommended, especially for young child, those over age 50 and people who have health conditions that could make contracting the flu particularly risky. Flu shots are available through your health care provider or through the flu clinic at the Coconino County Public Health Services District.
The flu season is declared under-way once we have reached an above-average number of people with influenza symptoms (i.e. more than 2.2 percent of people).
"We often see a season last three months, so there's still time to do it", Dr. Richard Zimmerman, a physician at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, told Newsweek.
Other ways to stay healthy that you may not think of include staying active and managing stress, which can help give your immune system a boost.
This year's vaccines targets the same strains as last year.
"Even if the vaccine is only 10 percent effective against H3N2, the vaccine does protect against other strains that are circulating", he said.
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