As the holiday season continues, the U.S.is also entering peak flu season. "So if you've been exposed to the flu and you start coming down with symptoms, then get to your health care professional and get a prescription". And, if current numbers are any indication, the USA may see a sharp rise in influenza cases as Americans return from the holidays this year in particular.
Recently, flu and sinus medications seem to be in short supply at several local pharmacies, which begs the question have there been higher instances of the flu virus or are citizens simply "stocking up" on such medications in the vein of prevention is better than the cure? But there are hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and tens of thousands of deaths due to the flu in any given year, according to the CDC. While colds are usually mild without fevers in adults (children may sometimes run a fever during a cold bout), flus can drag on for weeks and include frequent and sometimes intense muscle pains, respiratory ailments, headaches, fever, and can lead to more severe complications such as pneumonia or bacterial infections if not treated properly. In fact, we're well in its midst, since flu season dates can range from October to May. For instance, at Yale New Haven Hospital, last week staff saw three times as many flu cases as they did the week before, said Dr. Richard Martinello, medical director for infection prevention at the hospital. "The number of flu cases that are being reported is very worrisome", said county public health officer Wilma Wooten, MD, MPH. There have been 2,976 cases reported throughout the state so far this season. "We urge the public to get vaccinated against the flu". I'll take this opportunity to debunk some of the most common misconceptions about the flu vaccine. The health department reported that there were two main reasons for this. "Firstly, the vaccine produces a weaker immune response generally in the elderly", the department's web site said.
Even if vaccinated, there are more ways to prevent the spread of influenza. Last season the flu vaccine was about 43% effective against H3N2 in the United States, and the authors anticipate similar effectiveness this season.
Sullivan, Ind. - New Wendesday, the CDC released information that the 2016 flu vaccine was 32% effective for string a, which is actually, a really good outcome.
"Fortunately, a lot of times, there's still some crossover in the immunity you get from the vaccine", Dr. Holder said.