It's a gamble trying to get the flu vaccine right each year. There have also been more flu-related deaths this year.
A report from the CDC last week stated that influenza activity increased between New Year's Eve and January 6th, with the trend pointing in an upwards direction in terms of how many people it is affecting. The CDC recommended using antiviral medications to treat the flu and treatment should start within two days of symptoms showing. Kansans have tested positive for both influenza type A and type B, the KDHE reported.
The CDC reported that the flu is the most widespread outbreak in decades. Hoover adds, "Even in a year when the effectiveness of the flu vaccine is not optimal, the vaccine still prevents millions of illnesses and tens of thousands of hospital visits in the U.S".
CNN reported that as of this past Friday, Jernigan said the "this is the first year we've had the entire continental USA at the same level (of flu activity) at the same time".
"So it's not that it's not a good match", Green said.
This year's dominant strain, H3N2, is particularly unsafe for children and the elderly, KING-5 reports. The child was not vaccinated and had underlying health conditions, health officials said. Not only does it provide information on strains and vaccines, it also offers "FluView", a national flu surveillance network updated weekly, which includes interactive maps and graphs showing hospitalizations, mortality and geographic spread of the virus.
"As we did during H1N1, we pulled out the same policies", she said. In Illinois, hospitals are taking extra precautions to ensure more people don't get sick.
Health officials say that to make matters worse, the flu vaccine this year is only 30 to 40 percent effective against the strain of influenza that is causing the most sickness. Maria Gomez got her flu shot two months ago. Still want to get the flu shot?
This chart provided by Centra Care shows the sudden spike in flu patients at its locations in the last week.
Physicians at the new Via Christi Clinic offer the flu shot to all new patients who have not gotten one yet. "But until that day arrives, we will continue to improve the vaccines that we have and find ways and tools to help Americans reduce their risk of getting sick".
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