Friday, 23 February, 2018

Working to get the flu vaccine right

Flu is widespread across the country and while many people experience mild cases hospital admissions for the virus are up and ER's are busy treating many more people than usual Influenza Making Inroads in Greenwich: Not too Late for Vaccine; Tamiflu Shortages
Carol Daniels | 18 January, 2018, 14:00

There is speculation that the outlook shouldn't be all doom and gloom, with some pundits believing that the flu season's severity may have peaked more than a week ago.

Last week, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported influenza had risen to "epidemic proportion throughout the United States".

The vaccine is made from inactive virus cells, so while it may take a week or two to start protecting you, people who get sick after getting the flu shot were going to get sick anyway and it can't be blamed on the vaccine.

Kidwai advises those who haven't, to get a flu shot. "This is not an uncommon infection".

The influenza A subtype H3N2 that appears to be most prevalent particularly is nasty, with more-severe symptoms including fever and body aches. As of last week, 49 states reported at least widespread activity, with Hawaii being the one exception.

"They've clearly shown this excess of risk in people born in particular years and that just tells us that there's more to the risk profile of influenza than we previously thought", Upshur said.

Shots still may be available from your doctor or local health clinic, as well as at some chain drugstores.

When it comes to the effectiveness of this season's vaccine, Collins says it's too early to determine how effective the flu vaccine has been so far. While children and people over 65 are most vulnerable, the flu can have complications or be fatal to people of all ages.

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Some long-term care facilities have issued warnings on the west coast and in central Newfoundland, restricting visitation as a precaution against the flu season.

The shot takes about two weeks to take full effect - just in time for the peak of the flu season next month and March.

Health officials still don't know for sure how this season will end up.

It's time to wash those hands.

The most common flu symptoms include fever, plus cough and or a sore throat.

Ehresmann noted that even in a perfectly matched year, the vaccine will not prevent every case of flu. Alcohol based gels are the next best thing if you don't have access to soap and water.

Ly said after educating patients about the vaccine, they probably get about 75 percent of patients who initially declined to change their mind.

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