Flu is here - but it's not too late to vaccinate

Flu is here - but it's not too late to vaccinate

Flu is here - but it's not too late to vaccinate

A spokesperson for the HSE said that the best way to protect yourself is to get the flu vaccine.

Health experts in Colorado say the flu vaccine appears to be more effective this year than it was last year.

Nationwide, federal health officials are reporting sharp increases in flu activity.

A San Francisco resident has died from flu-related causes, the first such death in the city this season, the San Francisco Department of Public Health announced Wednesday.

The child, from the central region of the state, died in late December. Check with your doctor if you have flu-like symptoms and are at high risk of serious flu complications. The predominant strain now circulating is H1N1, which is affecting younger age groups more than strains that have circulated in previous years. You will typically suffer from a cough, fever, sore throat, runny nose, headache, body aches, chills, and fatigue. The return of the quadrivalent vaccine (LAIV4) by The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the CDC is expected to enlarge and improve protection and coverage. Data suggests that more people got vaccinated earlier this year than they did last year, perhaps motivated by memories of the prior season.

Bennett said preliminary indications are that "vaccines are very well matched for the strain" this season. As a World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Influenza and the U.S. National Influenza Center, CDC monitors flu activity nationally and globally with other labs, looking for changes in circulating viruses.

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The most common strain that's circulating is H1N1, which is more likely to affect young adults and children, rather than the elderly.

Price said flu season normally starts around October or November and can last until March or April.

Healthy adults can also provide what's called herd immunity for others by getting the flu shot.

Since 2010, the CDC has advised that everyone over the age of 6 months should be vaccinated against influenza.

The Children's Hospital of Wisconsin is temporarily banning children under the age of 12 from visiting in order to prevent the further spread of the flu virus.

"We can calculate that if about half the people exposed to the flu couldn't get infected and pass it on because they're immune, for example, the virus wouldn't be able to spread and the epidemic would stop".

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