nsucurrent.com April 26, 2018

More People May Die from the Flu Each Year Than We Thought

14 December 2017, 10:23 | Violet Powell

More People May Die from the Flu Each Year Than We Thought

More People May Die from the Flu Each Year Than We Thought

This season's flu vaccine includes the same H3N2 vaccine component as last season, and most circulating H3N2 viruses that have been tested in the USA this season are still similar to the H3N2 vaccine virus.

But that's still a lot better than coming down with a full-blown flu, which can knock people out for over a week.

"This is based on the fact that it's the same vaccine essentially that's used in Australia and Australia's flu season is kind of it's at a different time of the year than ours and so what happens there are often times emulated over here", said Dr. Hetal Thakore, Medical Director, Doctors Hospital.

The same deadly flu strain that hit Australia is here in Middle Tennessee, and doctors say it's especially a concern for older people.

The report states that influenza A (H3N2) viruses are predominant in the Southern Hemisphere, and a preliminary estimate showed the vaccine as only 10 percent effective against that strain.

The county says the vaccine is available at its Division of Health main clinic at 2716 W. Central.

Flu vaccination can also come in the form of a live-flu mist, but the CDC is not recommending that anyone get that this year because it's been less effective than the shot in recent years. So we turned to LSU Health's infectious disease expert Dr. Fred Lopez. "It can change for the worse or the better".

Haman doesn't understand why our state is seeing such an increase in the flu this early, but he's definitely pushing for one thing--the flu shot. Also, those who get the shot and contract influenza A (H3N2) will likely recover faster than those who don't get vaccinated.

In Connecticut, influenza A viruses are dominating in the state, as they are nationwide.

"At the moment, flu has started, and it's the dominant virus across the country this year", he told News 2.

The bulk of cases were in Fairfield County, which had 49 people test positive for the flu.

The regional classification is one step down from "widespread", which represents the highest level of flu activity.

In Stamford, Parry said he's only seeing a couple of cases a week.

"(It) evokes the complications of pneumonia, hospitalization, and-I'm afraid to say-dying, so if you need another reason to be vaccinated, you've got it", he explained.

And that is the strain we are seeing in the USA now, meaning we could have a more severe flu season.

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