December 17, 2017

This Flu Season Could Be Much Worse Than Others, Health Officials Warn

06 December 2017, 02:52 | Silvia Roy

Credit Getty Images

Credit Getty Images

Cases of flu tend to ramp up mid- to late-December and peak in January or February, according to Paul Sax, an infectious disease physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. "It's important that North Georgians understand the best way to protect against influenza is to receive an annual flu vaccine".

"In a good year, the flu vaccine can be 70 percent effective".

If you haven't gotten a flu shot yet, it's not too late, according to Denton County Public Health.

Health officials are warning that the flu season could be bad and that it's coming early. Getting a flu vaccine is more convenient than ever.

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Tis the season for the flu.

The Arkansas Department of Health said as of the end of November there have been close to 200 confirmed cases of the flu since October.

"Even if it may not fully protect you, there's no question it reduces the chance of very severe illness and hospitalization", Englender said.

This is National Influenza Vaccination Week, and while experts say the vaccine may not be as effective this season as they had hoped, it can still minimize symptoms.

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There are two major things that could contribute to this. He said this year's vaccine should work.

"It can be due to a change in what's circulating in the human population, or a change in the vaccine that leads to a mismatch" between the virus and the vaccine, Hirsch said. A protein within the egg can modify the strain, making the vaccine less effective.

Doctors say the vaccine is inactivated, so getting one can only help prevent you or your family members from getting the flu virus.

"We're still seeing colds from the fall season but we're beginning to see sporadic flu activity in the community", said Dr. Chris Cunha, a pediatric doctor in Northern Kentucky.

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