Doctors say this years flu shot is only 10 percent effective

Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association executive director Robert Thompson- Ashley Fitzpatrick

Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association executive director Robert Thompson- Ashley Fitzpatrick

The Georgia Department of Public Health has reported 4 flu-related deaths in the state this flu season, one of those in Middle Georgia. Judging by the latest data, this could be one of the more severe flu seasons in recent years.

During last year's flu season, there were 12,912 flu-related hospitalizations and eight pediatric deaths in NY.

State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker is urging New Yorkers six months of age and older who have not yet received a flu shot to get vaccinated as soon as possible as much of the state grapples with a rise in active cases of the flu.

That number is expected to increase as the flu is widespread in Georgia, according to a Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) news release.

On January 2, 2018, Dallas County health officials reported a sixth death from the flu.

NPR reports the main strain of flu this season is H3N2, which tends to affect more people and make them sicker once they have the virus.

It can be hard to tell in real time where a flu season will fall on the severity scale, because sometimes reports of influenza hospitalization and deaths - especially deaths among children - lag.

Pino also addressed flu vaccines and said the vaccine has not been "that effective with specific strains of the viruses, but what has also been clear is that getting immunized, even if you don't get 100 percent effectiveness, it also prompts your immune system to respond in a better way to the viruses".

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Influenza is a respiratory illness, and symptoms come on suddenly and can include fever, headache, fatigue, body aches, coughing or sore throat and nasal congestion. "So far this season, influenza A-H3N2 has been the most common form of influenza".

Officials with the Boise and West Ada school districts said they aren't seeing a spike in flu right now.

The seasonal flu vaccine usually protects against three or four strains of the flu, which are chosen based on predictions for what will circulate in the United States that year. Flu season typically lasts up to 10 weeks.

"Mississippi hospitals, like those across the country, are experiencing a huge influx of patients due to the flu and are taking necessary steps to ensure patients receive appropriate care in the appropriate setting", said Timothy H. Moore, President/CEO of Mississippi Hospital Association. "You just have some people that refuse to take it despite medical advice and you have some people who are pretty religious about taking it and on a routine basis", says Taylor.

Though Chen says this year's flu shot is weaker than in years past, but says that shouldn't mean a person doesn't get it.

"We have an increase that is alarming to us", Pino said.

Officials also recommend that sick people stay home until they are fever free (without medication) for at least 24 hours, cover their mouths when they cough and wash their hands often.

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