Widespread Flu Hits Earlier This Season

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Other hospitals in the U.S. have limited the age of patients under five years old as younger patients may not show signs of the flu but could be highly infectious. If you do get the flu, having had the vaccine might lessen the severity of it.

There's been some concern both in the USA and Canada that this season's vaccine is not particularly effective against the H3N2 strain of influenza A, but state, county and national health experts still recommend a flu shot.

H3N2 has been responsible for some of the worst flu seasons in the U.S. in recent years, including the 2006-2007, 2012-2013, and 2014-2015 bouts.

Churches in Northern Ireland have even banned the "sign of peace" handshakes in an effort to curb the risk of infection which has caused one death in the Republic of Ireland. Palese's vaccine aims to stimulate antibodies that bind to the more "conserved" areas on the stalk and which remain the same every year and are common to most seasonal flu viruses.

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.

What kind of flu is being seen the most?

Iowa also was bumped up to "moderate" flu activity, up from "minimal" the week before.

Hospitals have been overwhelmed with the influx of infected patients that hospitals in the San Francisco Bay Area are limiting visitors under the age of 16 as a precaution.

If you are sick with flu symptoms, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone.

What are the symptoms of the flu?

Masks aren't particularly effective in keeping you from catching the flu, although they may help keep sick people who wear them from spreading their germs further.

It takes two weeks for it to protect you.

Bottom line, for your protection and that of others, it seems like getting a flu shot is the best idea.

If you are allergic to eggs, let your medical provider know that before you get the vaccine. "It is not going to give you the flu".

The flu is considered to be widespread nationally.

Essentially no district of the nation has been saved, as a flawed antibody and a long episode of cool, snowy climate are plotting to transform this influenza season into a serious one.

The California death toll is rapidly growing as this season's massive flu outbreak has left hospitals across the USA overcrowded and pharmacies running out of medication to treat the virus. Another influenza B virus subtype also is circulating, "and that's no fun, either", Bergen said.

Pregnant women may receive any licensed, recommended, and age-appropriate flu vaccine.

"Even though it is less effective than previous years it still has an efficacy level of 10 per cent for influenza A and we do have other strains circulating so within our vaccines three or four strains are covered so you can be covered for other strains of the flu as well", Said Dr. Waters.

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