Medicine

Health officials: 135 people hospitalized with the flu this season

Health officials: 135 people hospitalized with the flu this season

The immunization rate for health care employees is about 90 percent, Francis said, and hospitals require vaccines so patients are protected against the flu.

In the case of H3N2, the vaccine component has been genetically altered somewhat as a result of the manufacturing process, which involves growing vast quantities of the virus in eggs. It is spread when a person who has the flu coughs, sneezes or talks, and droplets containing the flu virus are inhaled into your mouth or nose. "And I think you have to speak out, stand your ground and make other nurses feel they can as well".

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, several strains of influenza virus are in circulation. By the end of the year, the CDC declared an epidemic, with more than 20 deaths in just a few weeks before Christmas that year.

Although it is relatively early in this flu season, influenza activity in SC at this point has been higher than normal.

Michelle Krinsky said she did not feel comfortable getting the vaccine because its ingredients and effectiveness concerned her.

There's bad news about this year's flu vaccine. Other groups who are at high risk include children 5 and younger, pregnant women and those with chronic medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease.

Certain people are at greater risk of serious flu-related complications.

Among health care workers who declined the vaccine, the most common reason is fear of experiencing side effects or getting sick from the vaccine.

"But we can not say we will go on to experience the kind of severe season Australia had, in part because we ourselves had a fairly severe epidemic due to H3N2 in 2016-17", Skowronski said. The drug works best when taken right when you get sick, so seeing your doctor early is a good move, she said.

Flu shots are available at more than 300 locations around Vermont.

"If you're not excited about getting vaccinated yourself, do it for the people you love", Mills said. "H3N2 seasons have been more severe in terms of hospitalization and death, especially in the elderly and young children; that's a concern". And in Australia, which used the identical vaccine as Canada's this past season, its effectiveness against H3N2 infection was far less - only about 10 per cent.

But she said it's too early to predict what strain will predominate or how severe the season will be.


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