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What's New this Flu Season?
07 December 2017, 11:22 | Randall Craig
Kathryn Pool shares why every senior should get an annual flu vaccination
Flu season has arrived early to North America this year, and it may end up being a doozy.
In Ohio, 35 people have been hospitalized, but flu typically peaks in January. But this year, things are different.
FluWatch, an online influenza tracker by the federal government, says that flu season came early this year and detections of flus nationwide have increased to 11 per cent between November 19 and November 25, compared to six per cent for the same period last year.
Not only has flu season arrived early, but the USA may be particularly hard-hit.
Flu shot producers expect to make between 151 million and 166 million doses of vaccine this flu season. Reports from Australia have caused mounting concern, with record-high numbers of laboratory-confirmed influenza notifications and outbreaks and higher-than-average numbers of hospitalizations and deaths and that the vaccine, which is similar to the one being used in the USA had only a 10 percent effectiveness. The dominant flu virus strain is H3N2, which can result in more severe illnesses than other strains.
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. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, several strains of influenza virus are in circulation.
McClinton said in the release that reports show this year's flu vaccine "is a good match for the flu strains circulating in Wyoming and across the country". The Brownwood/Brown County Health Department has influenza vaccine available for children and adults. 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. To find a location near you to get the flu vaccine, go to healthvermont.gov/flu or dial 2-1-1.
"The flu vaccine takes two weeks to become fully effective", said Dr. Levine.
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