Friday, 23 February, 2018

As effectiveness is questioned, health officials encourage getting flu shot

That Flu Shot You Got This Year May Not Protect You. Here's Why Flu Season off to a fast start
Melissa Porter | 06 December, 2017, 02:51

The flu season occurs during the fall and winter months.

So far a total of 671 cases statewide for the season, 20 of which were from Coconino County, and as you might expect reported cases are only a small percentage of the actual cases of the flu we see people suffering from within our community...

"This is the time of year when we talk about influenza and how risky it can be", said Matt Richardson, DCPH director, in a prepared statement. "Flu, along with pneumonia diagnosis, is the eighth leading cause of death in the U.S., and we have a vaccine to prevent it".

The Arkansas Department of Health said as of the end of November there have been close to 200 confirmed cases of the flu since October. It's hard to make predictions about how a flu season will play out, as flu viruses are wildly unpredictable. Another reason is because strains can change over time, making the initial vaccine much less effective.

Flu season can sometimes not end until April, so if you haven't gotten your flu shot, health officials say you shouldn't put it off any longer.

"Even if it may not fully protect you, there's no question it reduces the chance of very severe illness and hospitalization", Englender said.

In Australia, where the flu season is now winding down, this year's vaccine was only 10 percent effective, and experts say countries in the northern hemisphere could expect the same.

"Based on what is in the vaccine versus a genetic analysis of strains that have been isolated, there is a ideal match", Venglarcik said. He said this year's vaccine should work. These remedies can help you recover quicker, and can potentially prevent you from being hospitalized with flu complications. Many physicians, pharmacies, employers, schools, colleges and universities also offer flu vaccines.