Doctors say this years flu shot is only 10 percent effective

Doctors say this years flu shot is only 10 percent effective

North Carolina health officials reported four new influenza-associated deaths on Friday, bringing to 26 the total deaths so far for a season that national and state public health experts are expecting to be nasty and deadly. That's how last year's flu season played out.

Puerto Rico's Hurricane Maria aftermath is contributing to flu season deaths as well.

"It's a normal influenza virus".

The number of people stricken by flu continues rising across Canada, with 15,572 laboratory-confirmed cases as of Saturday, said the Public Health Agency of Canada on Friday.

Despite that, health-care workers say it's still important for Canadians to get their flu shot - partly, they say, because some protection against H3N2 is better than none.

It's never too late, they say, as hospitals prepare to see flu cases well into the month of May.

CDC officials estimate that, on average, influenza kills about 24,000 Americans a year, including about 100 children.

According to the South China Morning Post, a three-year-old girl was reported on Sunday to be suffering from severe flu and remained in a critical condition on Thursday.

"It doesn't surprise us that we have this many cases but it is certainly something that is affecting student attendance", he added. "It might not work as well as we want it, but it does work", said Dr. Rusk.

"Please call your doctor to see if you are eligible for antivirals without an appointment", the department's website states.

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"Nearly 13 percent of the people showing up to emergency rooms [in the Houston area] are due to flu-like symptoms", said Porfirio Villarreal, spokesperson, city of Houston Health Department.

The flu season started early, which is never a good sign, and the flu is already widespread throughout the country, the latest report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows.

"Our hospital rates and our ICU rates, they're up there, but they're always in the expected and accepted ranges", said Rusk. Scientists don't really know why, but flu seasons where H3N2 have dominated in the past have tended to be worse.

"It's earlier than normal, so there's the worry now that is this going to grumble on compared to past year - mid February, late February", he said.

According to the CDC, children younger than 5 are at higher risk of developing serious flu-related complications - and babies under the age of 2, even more so. Bennett said Maine's population is more sparse, which may help prevent flu from spreading.

The use of Tamiflu or Oceltamivir, is climbing, according to the report, with 151 dispensed this past week, up from 108 the week before. Around 90 people died of flu in Ireland previous year.

But to minimize your chances of illness, yes, you should still get the flu shot this year, and any year.

"We didn't figure it would be like this", said Jennifer Burrough. "Even if the vaccine may not prevent every case of influenza, the evidence shows that getting a flu shot still can prevent severe illness and hospitalization". "You don't expect to wake up with sniffles and two days later find yourself in a medically induced coma".

Some chemists told the Telegraph that they avoided overstocking supplies as they are only reimbursed by the NHS for vaccines that are used.

"It might not be as powerful a tool as what we would want but it is still there", agreed Rusk.

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