"Even though you may not necessarily have a ideal match of a flu vaccination for the current flu season, it's still appropriate and it's still a good thing to get a flu vaccination because you are still getting some protection", he said.
According to Don Brannen, PhD, community epidemiologist for GCPH, flu season in Greene County usually begins around week 47 of the year - November 19, 2017 - and ends around week 17 - Saturday, April 28 this year. 15, there has been an estimated total of 5,580 people, both inpatient and outpatient, who have had influenza associated symptoms at Spectrum Health Hospitals. A 2016 study showed that people 50 years and older who got a flu vaccine reduced their risk for hospitalization from the flu by 57 percent. Health Departments we talked to in the Bay Area said they had plenty of the vaccine available.
The H3N2 flu strain has been reported in 49 states, Hawaii being the exception, with more than 74,500 confirmed cases as of January 13, and that number does not include those individuals who didn't see a doctor.
"It's one of the more virulent strains that's circulating, but the mother of all nasty strains was the 1918 H1N1, the Spanish influenza that killed more people in one year than AIDS has killed since its discovery", he said. And, Yale New Haven has been hit very hard this week too.
The deadly flu outbreak continued to gain momentum and claim more victims Friday with state health officials raising the death toll of those under 65 who have succumbed to the disease to 74.
According to numbers from Kaiser, flu cases peaked in late December and have been declining since then. "We don't know how severe the season is until we're out of it". Earlier this week, officials there said 10-year-old Nico Mallozzi's death was linked to influenza B. Mallozzi's wake is scheduled for Sunday.
GETTY Images Aussie flu symptoms Deadly virus has hospitalised almost 500 people since October
Across the country, 30 children have died as a result of the flu.
The current year's influenza season positions among the most extreme as of late. Twice a year, Webby and other experts gather at the World Health Organization Influenza Vaccine Composition Meeting to examine data from the previous flu season and determine which vaccine strains should be part of next season's shot. We also have less exposure to this strain, so our bodies aren't used to fighting it, which makes the symptoms worse.
"A big thing is to stay home when you're sick".
Experts say even if the vaccine is not a ideal match, the vaccine can still help lessen the severity of the flu, and reduce the chance of experiencing severe complications from the flu. Look, it can't hurt.
So if you're still waiting to get a flu shot, don't.
Patients that get the flu, when they do need to be hospitalized, is often times because they aren't able to get enough oxygen into their blood; and so sometimes they just need something as simple as supplemental oxygen.
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