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14 December 2017, 10:24 | Violet Powell
Seasonal flu kills up to 650000 people worldwide every year: study
"Unfortunately, we are already seeing some heartbreaking consequences of the flu in IN", said in state health commissioner Kris Box, MD.
But that's still a lot better than coming down with a full-blown flu, which can knock people out for over a week.
Influenza season typically runs from October through May, often peaking in February. He said any time people hear the flu shot isn't a ideal match for circulating viruses, they're reluctant to get vaccinated.
Beth Lantrip, infection preventionist with Hendrick Medical Center, said that in Public Health Region 2/3 - which includes Abilene - the current Influenza Activity Level is "Local", above "Minimal" and "Sporadic", but below "Regional" and "Widespread".
"The earlier we notice strains of influenza, the better we can combat them", he said.
Even though the flu shot isn't as effective this year, Haman still advises everyone in our area to get it.
"The Australia data is interesting, but we don't know yet how well it applies to us", said Dr. Michael Parry, director of infectious diseases at Stamford Hospital.
It's not a harmful defect, but it means that the non-live strain of H3N2 influenza in the injection is slightly different than what's actually circulating in the human population.
The county says flu vaccinations are also available to uninsured children up to age 18 and children with state-sponsored insurance plans.
In the United States last season, overall vaccine effectiveness against all circulating flu viruses was 39 percent and the effectiveness was only a bit lower, 32 percent, against H3N2 viruses.
In Connecticut, influenza A viruses are dominating in the state, as they are nationwide. "(Centers for Disease Control), the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Nurse-Midwifes and the American Academy of Family Physicians recommend flu shots for all women who are or expect to be pregnant during the flu season". Getting vaccinated also protects the baby several months after birth.
The state has confirmed 46 cases of the flu as of December 2. "It's very sporadic - nothing dramatic yet", he said. Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors' visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations.
"We're planning on this being a fairly robust flu season", he said.
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