Flu Vaccine May Only Be 10 Percent Effective This Year

Phillip Cunningham
December 8, 2017

It is one of the best ways to prevent contracting the flu virus.

Flatheads public health officer Hillary Hanson said her office was surprised to see fatalities at this point in the season, given that influenza rates have just begun to pick up.

Health officials say they are bracing for a severe flu season.

The flu vaccine covers four different strains of influenza, and Dr.

The strain of flu causing the most illness in NY - influenza A H3N2 - is the same one that caused illnesses in a deadly wave south of the equator this year. From Oct. 1 to December 2, a total of 254 confirmed flu cases have been reported in Philadelphia and its four suburban counties, with 80 of those cases in Delaware County.

Doctors add that even if the vaccine is only 10% effective, it's still important to get one.

The CDC estimates that the flu virus has caused between 9.2 million and 35.6 million illnesses in the US each year since 2010.

Meanwhile, the authors of NEJM report suggest a renewed effort to work toward better, more effective flu vaccines.

The county saw 15 cases last week, up from six since the start of the season.

But while there has been an uptick in cases reported locally, said Sara Mendez, heath education and promotion director for the Brazos County Health Department, it doesn't yet mean the Bryan-College Station area will be hit particularly hard this year. In this regard, the CDC estimates that influenza vaccination averted 40,000 deaths in the United States between the 2005-2006 and 2013-2014 seasons.

In B.C., for instance, low levels of H3N2 infection have been confirmed since the beginning of the season in late August, but a strain known as B/Yamagata has also been found circulating within the population.

Two people in Flathead County have died due to circumstances related to influenza, according to the Flathead City-County Health Department.

Other ways to stay healthy that you may not think of include staying active and managing stress, which can help give your immune system a boost.

"We want to be a part of creating a highly effective, worldwide vaccine, that could really stop flu in its tracks", Creech said. Nationwide since October 1, 566 have been hospitalized for influenza and 148 million doses of the flu vaccine have been distributed. Anybody who develops the flu can pass it along to someone at high risk of severe illness, including the elderly and infants younger than 6 months old who are too young to get the vaccine.

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