December 13, 2017

Flu season has arrived and it could be a bad one

07 December 2017, 11:20 | Winifred Adams

Kathryn Pool shares why every senior should get an annual flu vaccination

Kathryn Pool shares why every senior should get an annual flu vaccination

"There's very little downside to getting vaccinated and if anything that's going to be your only way to really protect yourself especially because with the holidays, the congregation of people and family getting together and things like that", said Dr. Shivani Reddy of Kaiser Permanente. The flu usually peaks in January or February, but it can occur as early as October and as late as May.

Dr. Meena Dawar, a medical health officer with VCH, said although cases in hospital wards are less frequent than in residential care facilities, for people with underlying health conditions, the flu can complicate the primary treatment and lead to longer hospital stays. This year, the percentage of patients reporting flu-like symptoms reached the threshold of 2.2 percent by late November, an indication that flu season has started. Flu season occurs in the fall and winter.

- A new published paper warns that this could be a bad flu season in the United States and the flu vaccine being used could have as low as a 10 percent effectiveness.

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The flu is a viral, contagious, respiratory illness that causes fever, tiredness, sore throat, dry cough, headache, muscle aches, and runny and stuffy noses. The dominant flu virus strain is H3N2, which can result in more severe illnesses than other strains.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a yearly flu vaccination as the first and most important step in protecting against the flu.

McClinton said in the release that reports show this year's flu vaccine "is a good match for the flu strains circulating in Wyoming and across the country". Or the vaccine itself may mutate while it is being grown - currently, vaccines are grown in eggs, but many experts don't think that's ideal as the vaccine virus tends to undergo mutations to adapt to growing in an egg. A full list of locations where people can get flu shots is listen on the VCH website. The cost of adult flu vaccine is $25.00.

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