First death of Florida flu season confirmed

08 December, 2017, 02:09 | Author: Lynne Higgins
  • A pharmacist at the Wal Greens on Wilson Street in Brewer prepares to inject a patient with the flu vaccine

Reports coming out of Australia, where the yearly flu strikes first, indicate 93,000 cases of H3N2, a subtype of influenza A. That's more than double the usual number of cases, and particularly worrisome given influenza A typically hits young children and the elderly the hardest.

Each year, hundreds of thousands Americans are hospitalized for flu and thousands die, according to the CDC.

Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts and Oklahoma reported widespread activity during the week ended November 25, the report stated. The CDC recommends annual influenza vaccination for everyone 6 months of age and older to protect against this serious, potentially deadly, but vaccine-preventable disease.

He said young adults who are feeling symptoms may not have received the shot. Common concerns focus on efficacy of the vaccine and side effects. Flu related complications can include pneumonia and dehydration.

News'13's Bobby Poitevint last week spoke with experts to see if this year's flu vaccines are killing the bug. Some patients believe they can protect themselves by boosting their immune systems, eating well and making sure they sleep better, she said.

"This is the time to get a flu shot", said Mills. "We want to help educate grandparents to understand the seriousness of the flu and their higher risk of developing complications from this risky and potentially deadly disease".

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Even if you don't have a regular health care provider, the flu vaccine is available in many settings.

"People from those areas are getting ready to travel for the winter holidays, and they'll bring flu with them", Mills said.

"Because there is a risk, there should be a choice", Smith said. Children, pregnant women, and those 65 and older are at particular risk, as are those with chronic lung conditions.

Flannery explained that the journal article looked at Australia's most recent flu season and highlights the low vaccine effectiveness against one type of influenza: the H3N2 strain predominating in the USA today. "There's still some protection against all flu illness in Australia last season".

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University, said that vaccine effectiveness is not a simple measure.

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