Essex County records first influenza case of season

People with chronic illnesses at risk of severe flu

Every flu season, there are predominant strains of the virus, so medical experts predict which strains will be most active, and they formulate the vaccines in response.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), show how much of an outlier it was: Previously, seasonal outbreaks since 2010, had killed between 12,000 and 56,000 and caused between 140,000 and 710,000 hospitalizations.

"We do know from the Southern Hemisphere, which is not always a ideal correlation, that it was a relatively quiet year for the Southern Hemisphere, and they were in an H1N1 year, which is included in this (year's) vaccine, so it could be a good match".

Health unit officials are reminding everyone that the best way to protect against the influenza virus and lower your risk of flu is to get the flu vaccine. However, anytime during the flu season would be ok.

Experts agree that the 2017-2018 vaccine was not a "good match" - but that doesn't mean that the vaccine was completely ineffective!

Statistics like that can seem impersonal, but this one isn't: "One hundred and eighty families put a child in a grave past year because of a vaccine-preventable infection", according to Wendy Sue Swanson, a pediatrician at Seattle Children's Hospital.

You can have your flu jab at your GP surgery or local pharmacy and for those who are most at risk of suffering serious consequences if they catch the flu, the vaccination is free - it‟s free because you need it.

The Brownwood/Brown County Health Department offers vaccines for all ages.

McKinstry is examining how the immune system responds.

"The main difference between a cold and the flu is persons with flu will get a fever and body aches, generalised body aches".

In summary, my unsolicited advice is that you should go get your influenza vaccine and to also immunize your kids. They also urge people to stay at home if they are sick.

But exactly how strong the shot should be, and whether additional injections would boost immunity, requires more study.

"It's especially important to get the flu shot, because even though it's just maybe a nuisance for some, it can have serious complications for a lot of people". Flu can cause severe illness and can even be fatal amongst those with a long-term health condition.

"We are expecting influenza to pick up in November", Bolden said in the release, "and the peak is expected to last through February".

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