Why this flu season could be a bad one

Phillip Cunningham
December 1, 2017

He said it's best to get your flu shot between the months of October and February. "There is a chance we could see the same thing".

FluMist was licensed in 2003 and originally was considered comparable to or better than injectable flu vaccine in protecting against the flu virus.

"Definitely last week, when everyone was out for Thanksgiving and exposed to people coming from out of state and a lot more cold weather, we saw a huge uptick in it", said Remedios. It is the only non-injection flu vaccine on the market.

According to health experts, this year is expected to be one of the worst in a while. Its figures also show that from 2010-2014, annual influenza-associated deaths ranged from a low of 12,000 (during the 2011-2012 season) to a high of 56,000 (during 2012-2013). The flu vaccine utilized this year in Australia, has similar composition as the vaccine utilized in the US.

After citing preliminary data from Australia, they said the flu vaccine used this year is only 10 percent effective.

FACT: The flu vaccine isn't manufactured with a live virus, so it can not cause the flu.

The non-varying parts of the vaccine are made from a special cold-adapted H2N2 strain that is known to contain mutations that slow its replication at the temperatures found in the human nose and throat.

Previous studies have linked the slower replication of this cold-adapted strain to changes in three virus genes.

The fewest deaths prevented by flu vaccination occurred during the 2009 pandemic. He adds that avoiding public places during an outbreak, staying home from school or work when you are ill, and covering your mouth if you sneeze is key to reducing the spread of the virus.

FACT: Each year, the seasonal influenza vaccine includes the strains that researchers found will be most prevalent throughout the season. They found that this enhanced the replication rate of the strain in human nasal cells. Scientists manipulate these home-grown viruses to make them benign, or create a chemical lookalike, which-in the form of a vaccine-gives our immune systems a head start to prepare itself for future microbial invaders. And many of those who do get it will have a shorter course of illness, he said.

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