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Flu Hospitalizations Up from past year

12 December 2017

Public health expert Dr. George Han noted that no flu vaccine is 100 percent effective since the virus changes year-round. But in light of the spike and flu cases this year, how close are they?

Experts warn this could be an early sign that the U.S. faces the same fate as Australia, which had one of its worst outbreaks on record, with two and a half times the normal number of cases.

The flu is an extremely contagious illness.

He urges anyone with flu symptoms, such as a sore throat or fever, not to visit friends and relatives in long-term care facilities, hospitals or those with underlying health conditions.

And finally, if you can, stay at home if you're sick.

However, doctors insist we can not underestimate the importance of "herd immunity", and that the shot may be more effective as lessening illness in those who do get sick.

However, Dr. Izaddoost said this is "fake news".

Unlike other vaccines - such as childhood immunizations, which are effective 95 per cent of the time - the flu shot efficacy does vary.

"Flu is a very serious illness, and it is crucial that everyone is protected", said Jamie Swift, director of infection prevention for MSHA.

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The biggest drop in flu shot rates was seen among Hispanic adults (down 7.7 percent from last year). In the US, between 140,000 and 700,000 people land in the hospital due to complications. Previous year alone, the CDC estimated that the vaccine prevented 5.1 million flu illnesses. And often, by then, more than one-third of those admissions will test positive for the flu. "It mutates as it goes from person to person, that's why it's so hard to predict what season we'll have".

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While Shelton also said it's too soon to tell about the flu season and the vaccine's effectiveness, she did note that there's concern over reports from Australia, which is now at the end of its flu season, about a severe outbreak.

While it's too early for disease control experts to evaluate the efficacy of this year's vaccine, health officials say that even in seasons when the flu vaccine is not a flawless match for the most common strain of the virus floating around that year, people who are vaccinated experience less severe symptoms if they do become infected.

"I highly recommend the vaccine", Shelton said, noting that all the health district offices still have plenty of the vaccine available.

Steven O'Marro, an infection preventionist, says despite possibly being less effective, the flu shot still serves a objective. "That is absolutely false".

In 2014, 147 children died of flu - majority from a particular strain, H3N2. This is your immune system doing its job, and should only last a day or so. Vaccinations are also about protecting others.

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.

Flu Hospitalizations Up from past year