Flu hits York County. Vaccine is less effective this year

Henrietta Brewer
January 12, 2018

"In general, this year appears to be typical of one where influenza Type A - H3N2 - dominates", Werker said, noting that particular flu disproportionally affects seniors and young children.

During the last week of 2017, "influenza activity increased sharply in the United States", according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Flu deaths have soared dramatically by 50% in the last seven days, with 27 reported in the last week, it was reportedaccording to new figures released by Public Health England. Flu viruses circulate all year around, all over the world, and they are constantly evolving through mutation.

"We have a lot of patients that come in with the typical flu symptoms", Pharmacist Jarron Yee said.

With a spike in the number of flu cases across the country, it's been a busy time for some pharmacies in Regina.

You may have heard that the flu that's doing the most damage this year is an H3N2 strain, and that it is less vulnerable to the vaccine.

The flu season is particularly bad in California, leading to medicine shortage, crowded emergency rooms, and alarming death rates.

While the effectiveness of this year's flu vaccine has been questioned, federal health officials maintain that some vaccine is better than none.

To be effective, the drugs must be taken in 12 to 48 hours from onset of symptoms, which include cough, muscle aches and fever. Regardless, experts still recommend getting the flu shot, because there are multiple strains of viruses going around. The City of Houston Health Department said one woman died at the end of November, while the other died at the end of December.

Flu cases spiked the most in the South with the number expected to rise as we head into the peak of flu season.

"Every week shows a little more of an increase of influenza across the state", Dr. William Berg, director of the Peninsula Health District, said. WakeMed said it has been fortunate enough to maintain a system-wide supply during this nasty flu season.

That hasn't stopped people from getting this year's vaccination.

Dr. Harkins says covering your mouth when you cough with the inner-side of your elbow and washing your hands are good ways to prevent spreading the virus.

Sentara family medicine and internal medicine practices have the vaccines for $75 out of pocket, but individuals without insurance can get the shot for $37.50, according to Sentara spokeswoman Kelsea Smith.

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