Monday, 19 November, 2018

What to expect from this year’s flu season

2 hospitalizations reported in El Paso County in this young flu season This year's flu strain could strike more vulnerable Canadians 24 October 2018 Early flu watch indicators
Melissa Porter | 27 October, 2018, 22:03

"Based on the Southern Hemisphere's recent milder flu season, which runs opposite to our flu season and often predicts the outcome here, we are anticipating a less severe flu season in the USA this year", says Lisa Maragakis, senior director of infection prevention for the Johns Hopkins Health System and associate professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Many medical professionals recommend a high-dose flu vaccine for people over the age of 65 - as they are at high risk of influenza and its complications. This low number is even more concerning given that previous year an people died across the United States from a particularly severe H3N2 strain of the flu.

Public health advocates urged those with the flu to keep it as contained as possible, which meant missing holiday parties, travel excursions and enjoying time with family and friends. "They don't recommend the nasal vaccine for really young people".

The flu shot and the flu mist are both available at the UWL Health Center, although the flu mist quantities are limited.

During the 2017-18 flu season, Washington state reported 247 flu-related deaths.

Of course, it's reasonable to ask: if you get vaccinated, why is it that you can sometimes still get the flu?

Flu vaccines are not ideal, because the influenza virus mutates every season to sidestep the body's ability to block it. "If you are infected with the flu shortly after getting your flu shot, your body may not be able to fight it off", Moorjani said. In that case, you will still get sick. Adult flu deaths are estimated but the CDC counts every child who dies of flu.

Anyone who hasn't received the flu vaccine is encouraged to attend. "In contrast, flu symptoms are more debilitating, and potentially life threatening to those at risk of complications".

Furthermore, each year, the flu vaccination protects against different strains of the virus. The scientists making the vaccines use either inactivated (killed) viruses or a small amount of the full virus, which ensures your body can build up immunity while not making you sick. If you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth or nose with your sleeve, not your hands.

Two in five American seniors stay home (41 percent) and avoid public gatherings (40 percent) to protect themselves from the flu.

Antiviral medication can help you feel better if you contract the flu, but it must be started early in your illness, so call your health provider when symptoms begin. In Oklahoma, 27 people have been hospitalized for flu-like symptoms between September 1 and October 16, according to the State Department of Health's weekly statistics.

"We don't give the vaccine sufficient credit", Schaffner said.

31 percent said the flu made them miss time with family, 28 percent on plans with friends, 16 percent on exercise, and 15 percent on entertainment.

The safety of the flu vaccine has been a common concern providers hear.