Recent news about flu shot effectiveness causing confusion

Joy Montgomery
December 8, 2017

Australia, where the flu season comes before ours, had a high number of cases and more than the usual number of people in the hospital with the flu. "They are also more likely to be hospitalized due to severe flu complications". Though numbers are still small, according to the most recent weekly report from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, experts say Mainers should expect more widespread illness as the season progresses.

But she said it's too early to predict what strain will predominate or how severe the season will be.

Health officials are warning that the flu season could be bad and that it's coming early.

MA is one of four states across the country to experience widespread Influenza activity this flu season. Next are, in order, York, Cumberland and Androscoggin counties.

Primary care physician at Ascension's Providence Family Medicine Clinic, Tim Martindale, and Waco-McLennan County Public Health District Public Information Officer, Kelley Crain, both urge Central Texans to continue taking flu shots, despite the medical journal's report.

A month ago the total number was 156 flu cases.

Fleming said four might not seem like a lot but confirmed cases "are the tip of the iceberg".

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But Flowers Grube said the problems don't extend to processing emergency calls, which is handled by the city of Charlotte. At this point, officials don't believe any information has been stolen, but malware was discovered on about 30 servers.

Though this years flu vaccine has low expectations, Martindale strongly believes people should not abandon the shot.

Most adults are infectious one day before they have symptoms until five-to-seven days after becoming ill, according to the Flathead City-County Health Department.

"You can still get some partial protection just by having an antibody to those core components", Nelson said. "The most important thing is still to get your flu vaccine".

"It hits you like a freight train", she said. "That's alarming no matter how you look at it, regardless of the year, particularly for a vaccine preventable illness", says Dr. Fred Lopez, with LSU Health Infectious Diseases.

It is impossible to contract a case of flu from the vaccine. These deaths have created a strong desire in Creech to develop a more effective flu vaccine through his work in the Universal Influenza Vaccine Initiative.

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

I spoke with others today who just don't get flu shots, but we also spoke to a few who do. Others can try home rest first, and all residents should be diligent about preventing the spread of germs. Drink plenty of fluids. The two main types of are Influenza A and Influenza B. Maurer says Tamiflu, an antiviral medication, can help decrease symptoms.

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