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14 December 2017, 10:22 | Nellie George
This year's flu vaccine may not be as effective at protecting people against one of the most common, nasty strains of the flu. At this same time a year ago, there were not any.
Federal flu forecaster Dave Osthus at the Los Alamos National Laboratory told Business Insider that flu levels are looking a little higher than average for this time of year, but they're still within a normal range.
So his teeth were set on edge by a recent study showing the effectiveness of this year's flu shot could be as low as 10 percent.
Those include infants six months and under, Children under the age of five, especially those younger than two, adults 65 and older, and people who have medical conditions such as asthma, heart disease, lung disease, blood disorders, kidney disorders, liver disorders, etc., she said. Earlier the experts said that the flu-related diseases claim around 250 to 500 thousand lives each year, but now the same experts state that the number of deaths caused by respiratory ailments is actually around 650,000.
Flu season is upon us. One influenza-associated pediatric death has been reported so far this season in Texas. "Don't care so much if a kid has a sniffle for a couple days, and we know that in previous years our vaccine has been effective, maybe somewhere between 50 and 80% of stopping serious illness and death, which is pretty good, because that's really what you want to stop". "Viruses mutate, we could see different strains here than they saw during their season".
He said since the confirmation of the outbreak as Influenza H1N1 2009, the students are yet to be vaccinated.
"Even in seasons when the vaccine is not a great match to the circulating flu strains, a flu shot is still the best protection an individual can get to protect not only against influenza disease but also from severe illness, hospitalization and death from flu-related complications". "But it is a wise choice - it's a healthy choice". The flu shots were made mandatory for hospital staff and physicians beginning in 2016 and posters with information about the vaccine and flu are posted in doctors' offices and in the hospital pharmacy. Go to https://www.vaccinefinder.org to find a location near you where you can get vaccinated.
Otherwise, common sense practices can help you stave off some of the chance of being sick or making others ill, both Lantrip and Rodriquez said.
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