A rough flu season could be ahead, doctors say

A rough flu season could be ahead, doctors say

A rough flu season could be ahead, doctors say

"Either you're going to get the flu this year or you're not", Dr. Itskowitz says, "You have to be careful even if you've had the flu vaccine". As part of such efforts, the health ministry should see to it that hospitals and clinics can secure all the flu vaccine they need since some of them have complained that it has been in short supply. "This year we're seeing earlier activity and more virulent activity". This year, they are already up to 63. Everyone age 6 months and older is recommended to get a vaccination.

ABC-7 talked to the lead epidemiologist for the El Paso Department of Public Health, Fernando Gonzalez. "So, someone who has had a flu vaccine every year for the past 15 years is much more protected than someone who got their first and only flu vaccine this year", said Dr. Lon Morgan, a Family Practice Physician at Novant Health Friedberg Family Medicine.

The weekly influenza surveillance report shows that of all ME counties, Penobscot County has the most flu activity, with 60 laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza and 24 hospitalizations.

MA is one of four states across the country to experience widespread Influenza activity this flu season.

"The thing that we can do is be vaccinated to protect our loved ones", he said. Reports from Australia say the H3N2 match only worked about 10 percent of the time. A protein within the egg can modify the strain, making the vaccine less effective.

Nevertheless, the flu shot can lessen the severity of the illness and for people at high risk it can be a life-saver.

Since it takes about two weeks to become fully effective, a flu shot now will confer protection against illness for the holidays and through the rest of the season, which typically winds down by March or April.

Whether a vaccine shortage occurs, it's vital that people have a correct understanding of the flu vaccine.

A flu shot and frequent hand washing are still the best forms of protection, Addis said.

This year's vaccines targets the same strains as last year.

So far the flu isn't rampant in Western Pennsylvania.

Other means of preventing the disease include avoiding close contact with sick people, staying home when you feel sick and covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.

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