States Report Widespread Increase in Flu Cases

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"When the flu vaccine isn't terribly effective in Australia, US and European health authorities prepare for a potentially severe flu season". DHS officials say the season usually hits later in Jan, Feb and March. "It's important every year that we monitor the Australian flu season because the following flu season in the United States and Europe could be similar", said University of Texas Medical Branch professor and study author Slobodan Paessler, DVM, PhD, in a recent press release. Jonesboro Doctor Kasey Holder says the vaccine is only 40 to 60 percent effective on a good year. "When someone has influenza, it will reduce, in most cases, the duration of the symptoms by a day or two".

As is expected, there are many differing views on the effectiveness of flu vaccines. The widespread medical consensus is: Get vaccinated, just in case, since for the vast majority of people there's no medical or financial downside and plenty of public health upside.

Their findings echo the report last week from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which said that the flu was surging around the country. People can find a place to get vaccinated at vaccinefinder.org. Everyone age six months or older is urged to receive the flu vaccine.

Nurse B.K. Morris gives a flu shot to Winifred Quinn during a news event about the flu vaccine September 17, 2015, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. This year, there is again an option for a trivalent (3-strain) vaccine, which protects from the three most common flu strains, or the quadrivalent (4-strain) vaccine, which includes one additional strain.

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As the vaccine is inactivated, it can be received at the same time as other inactivated vaccines, Lo said, adding that parents should carry their child's immunization handbook when going for shots. The shot also does not boost your immune system; if your immune system was already weakened before you were administered the shot, you may still be infected by the virus.

But Dr. Allison McGeer, microbiologist and and infectious disease consultant in the hospital's department of microbiology, says early signs suggest it could be a "pretty average" season.

- clean and disinfect surfaces that may be contaminated.

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