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12 December 2017, 06:01 | Audrey Hill
Currently circulating viruses seem not to have undergone significant antigenic drift
Doctors, she said, may prescribe anti-viral medication for those with higher-risk conditions.
She said getting that yearly flu shot is your best weapon. MedExpress also noted that its "2017-2018 influenza-like-illness (ILI) rates are higher than they have been during the same time period of the past four flu seasons (15 percent in 2017-2018 compared to 11-13 percent in previous years)". "This means it reduces the chance of coming down with the flu, or if you're someone who does get the flu, it lessens the likelihood you'll get very sick from the flu", said Dieckhaus.
"The majority of our cases are Influenza A, the H3 type, which is the same as what we saw last flu season, " she said.
Steven O'Marro, an infection preventionist, says despite possibly being less effective, the flu shot still serves a goal. Regina and surrounding area has had 17 confirmed cases so far this flu season.
"This is more typical of what we see most years", Shahab said.
What's more, American vaccinemanufacturers look at the strain hitting Australia when producing the vaccines for the US, but that strain can mutate within the six to eight months the USA industry needs to produce the vaccines. And often, by then, more than one-third of those admissions will test positive for the flu.
Richard Webby, PhD, is a member of the infectious disease department at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and one of a select group of scientists responsible for determining which flu vaccines will be put into circulation each year.
"We're expecting a fairly severe flu season", said Swift.
"The strain that's been detected as the primary circuiting strain of flu virus can cause more severe illness than some of the other strains", Wiese said.
The vaccine's effectiveness was limited in Australia, only being about 10 percent effective against Influenza A (H3N2), which was the predominate virus experienced there. "That is absolutely false". In 2016, the vaccine was 39% effective against all flu viruses and just 32% effective against the riskier H3N2 strain.
Right now, in North Idaho, flu cases are on the rise. This is your immune system doing its job, and should only last a day or so. This will also prevent you from infecting other people.
To help make the flu shot experience easier, officials advise that individuals can take Tylenol or ibuprofen if they experience mild side effects from the vaccine, which typically last a day or two.
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