Flu season off to early, fast start

11_30_Flu

For now, healthcare professionals are still recommending folks get the flu shot.

The study points out seasonal flu causes between 300,000 and 500,000 deaths globally each year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

And in the U.S., small clusters of that so-called H3N2 flu have already started popping up.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are more than seven thousand confirmed cases of influenza nationwide.

Cumulative rate of hospitalizations per 100,000 people for influenza in California by age in October and November of 2017. First, the CDC reports that available vaccines have been updated to better match circulating viruses.

But Fauci said Americans should still take the time to get a vaccination.

The Healthcare Foundation donated its remaining 110 vaccines to Public Health, which administers them to schoolchildren for free.

Last year, only about 47 per cent of the population was vaccinated in the US.

Officials with the state Department of Health remind New Mexicans that it's not too late to be vaccinated against the flu.

The predominant strain is H3N2 which mutates rapidly and often results in vaccines being less effective. The medical director for the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness, Lori Caloia, said 37 of those cases were from Jefferson County.

12_1_Flu
Flu season off to early, fast start

But it can kill even the young and otherwise healthy.

In Quebec previous year the vaccine was only 37 percent effective against the strain of H3N2 that was infecting people.

Health experts look to Australia to measure the effectiveness of the vaccine and the severity of the flu headed our way. However, while vaccinated people can still get sick, generally they get a milder and less risky form of the illness.

"This is a great time, because we're catching it on the early side of the flu season", Caloia said.

There are many reasons to get a flu vaccine each year.

Don't let the flu stop you from enjoying the holidays. Since then, there have been two influenza deaths in New Mexico.

"By getting the vaccine you're not only protecting yourself but it's that herd immunity".

He also suggests for older folks to ask for the higher dose of the flu shot, since your immune system isn't as strong.

And for those anxious about allergies from eggs used in the production process, two more vaccines are egg-free. The nasal spray vaccines are not being offered. Flu shots can reduce flu illnesses, doctor visits, missed school and work days as well as prevent flu-related hspitalizations.

That's the same advice this year: Youngsters will need a shot, just like their parents.

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