Published: Fri, December 08, 2017
Health Care | By Alberto Manning

Experts say this flu season will be a bad one

Experts say this flu season will be a bad one

Though this years flu vaccine has low expectations, Martindale strongly believes people should not abandon the shot.

At the core of vaccine creation lies hemagglutinin, a protein on influenza viruses that allows flu to penetrate cells.

As health officials rushed to contain the outbreak, the CDC admitted that the 2014 flu vaccine did not protect well against H3N2 - it had just seven percent chance of protection.

"Projects like this are why many of us do research", Creech said. That's because the flu vaccine is reformulated annually to contain the strains of the virus most likely to hit folks hard the following year.

While the CDC says flu activity is now low in the USA, the peak of the season can occur anywhere from late November through March. "The seasons in which H3N2 predominates, those are the seasons we see more severe illness, more hospitalizations".

Primary care physician at Ascension's Providence Family Medicine Clinic, Tim Martindale, and Waco-McLennan County Public Health District Public Information Officer, Kelley Crain, both urge Central Texans to continue taking flu shots, despite the medical journal's report.

More news: Congressional investigators discover more emails related to infamous Trump Jr. meeting

In recent years, it seems the flu has peaked in early spring, but it got an early start this year, she said.

"Dr. Crowe and his team are experts in figuring out which antibodies are important, making them in bulk, determining their biology, and then evaluating their effectiveness in animal models of infection", Creech said.

Brenden Bedard, director of Community Health Services of Genesee and Orleans Counties said children, pregnant women, people with chronic illnesses - such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease or lung disease - and people age 65 and older are at a much higher risk for developing critical health issues due to the flu.

"We're seeing earlier cases, and the predominant strain is H3N2, which is different from prior seasons", he adds. According to the CDC, the best way *not* to get the flu, is to get vaccinated. "We're having about five times the amount of influenza B pickup during the autumn period in British Columbia than we typically have", she said.

If you do get flu, keep it to yourself, Mills said. Current vaccines target only the head, which is particularly susceptible to mutations that at times render vaccines ineffective.

Also, if you are going to go get your flu shot now, the CDC says it really ought to be a proper shot with a needle and everything; they do not recommend using the nasal spray version of the flu vaccine this year.

Like this: