Good vaccine match, average flu season expected

This year's flu season could affect many Canadians who may not have immunity so getting immunized now is the best way you can help protect yourself and others according to a U of A infectious disease expert

Fewer than 4 out of 10 adults in the United States got flu shots last winter, the lowest rate in seven seasons and one likely reason why the 2017-2018 season was the deadliest in decades.

"Based on the Southern Hemisphere's recent milder flu season, which runs opposite to our flu season and often predicts the outcome here, we are anticipating a less severe flu season in the USA this year", says Lisa Maragakis, senior director of infection prevention for the Johns Hopkins Health System and associate professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. In addition to those who are most at risk of serious illness from the flu, some people are unable to get the vaccine, like infants younger than 6 months, those with vaccine allergies and those with some serious complications.

Every doctor and almost every employee at SCCA gets a flu shot each year, said Pergam, who specializes in the study of microbial threats to patients with compromised immune systems.

While there are a lot of myths around getting a flu shot, the real danger is in contracting the illness.

In Colorado, two people have already been hospitalized due to the flu, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and the first flu-related death of the year was confirmed this week in Kentucky. That number includes 172 children - 80 percent of whom were not vaccinated against the flu.

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Influenza vaccines are notoriously poor at preventing infection, but last year's flu vaccine lowered the risk of infection by about 40 percent.

"It's shifting where you view where to go get your shots", she said. Oh, I know, you never get sick so you dont need it.

He spent more than a week in the ICU before he died this week. Its completely possible to pick up something either right before or right after you got your shot.

"The way the vaccine works, you get about six months of protection, and flu season pretty much runs from starting in October all the way through, typically, about April and into the spring".

The flu vaccine is made each year to protect against certain viruses.

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The clinic was aimed at preparing residents in advance for the impending flu season and slowing the spread of the disease through the widespread vaccination of residents. A strong recommendation from a clinician makes a huge difference in whether someone gets the influenza vaccine.

There are three vaccines available this year.

If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, see your primary care physician to help reduce the severity of the flu.

Babies, children under five years of age, people over 65 years of age, pregnant women and people with underlying health conditions are more vulnerable to complications from the flu.

"We don't give the vaccine sufficient credit", Schaffner said. Vaccines are simply a weakened form of three or four of the most common influenza strains of the season. Better advice: Get the flu vaccine!

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