Medicine

Flu season off to early, fast start

Flu season off to early, fast start

Flu season tends to peak around January, but there's no way to know when it will start spreading widely.

There have been five deaths in total across the province - four more than previous year. According to preliminary estimates from Australia, the flu vaccine was 33 percent effective at preventing the flu and only 10 percent effective at preventing infection with H3N2, the predominate flu strain in circulation during the country's flu season.

"Get a flu shot every year, usually in the fall". However, while vaccinated people can still get sick, generally they get a milder and less unsafe form of the illness.

A given year's flu vaccine may often be only about 50 percent effective, because the flu virus mutates so quickly that sometimes the strains in the vaccine just aren't a great match for the current strains of the virus.

The Edmonton zone has reported 167 lab confirmed cases and 61 hospitalizations.

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And the flu season could be severe, as well as early.

The study points out seasonal flu causes between 300,000 and 500,000 deaths globally each year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The CDC and the California Department of Public Health are recommending everyone over six months old get vaccinated.

Health officials are already warning that this flu season could be a bad one. You can download the app on any device, which allows patients to get virtual care from a doctor online.

For needle-phobes, there's a skin-deep vaccine that uses tiny needles, and a needle-free jet injector that shoots another vaccine through the skin. The very young, very old, and people with existing medical conditions are most at risk. "I'd say we're about three or four weeks ahead of where we would be in a typical year - but many years are atypical". Even at reduced effectiveness, flu vaccination prevents millions of illnesses and tens of thousands of flu-related hospitalizations each year.

And for kids between the ages of 6 months and 8 years who are getting a first-ever flu vaccination, they'll need two doses a month apart.


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