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 Post subject: Very Active Flu Season This Year! Vaccine 10% Effective
Post Posted: Dec 1, 2017 5:08 am 
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TheDenverChannel.com - Flu cases continue to climb in Colorado; 210 hospitalized so far this year
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More people are being hospitalized with the flu this year than this time in the last five years, and doctors in Colorado predicted it would be an active season.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment released its latest numbers Wednesday. So far, 210 Coloradans have been hospitalized with flu this year. That's compared to 64 people at this time in 2016, the release said. It's the highest rate of hospitalizations compared to the last five flu seasons.


CDC Says “Take 3” Actions to Fight the Flu

Quote:
1. Take time to get a flu vaccine.

...

2. Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs.

...

3. Take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them.

Each of these items has a list explaining what you can do to prevent getting or help with if you do get the flu.


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 Post subject: Re: Very Active Flu Season This Year!
Post Posted: Dec 1, 2017 6:25 am 
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The news last night said the flu shot this year was only about 10% effective (whatever that really means). The inference was that whoever guesses the strains to focus on for the year missed the mark this time.

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 Post subject: Re: Very Active Flu Season This Year!
Post Posted: Dec 1, 2017 6:50 am 
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Unfortunately keg, you are correct. Thanks for posting your update.

From Quartz - A virus mutation has made this year’s flu vaccine less effective

Quote:
A commentary published in the New England Journal of Medicine this week estimated that current vaccines are only 10% effective against this year’s main flu strain, called H3N2. The authors theorized that this was in part due to this mutation and in part because of a complication with the antibody serums used to make the vaccine fit for people.

H3N2 is also a particularly nasty strain, Fauci said. “We’re seeing now that the vast majority of the strains that are early-circulating now right now in the United States…are this H3N2, which historically is always the worse influenza, for example, than an H1N1,” Fauci said. To put it into perspective, back when H1N1 was making headlines as swine flu in 2009, it infected just over 51,000 folks in Australia. This year, H3N2 sickened over 215,000 Australians.

The Quartz article referenced this article:

The New England Journal of Medicine - Chasing Seasonal Influenza — The Need for a Universal Influenza Vaccine
Quote:
As clinicians in the United States prepare for the start of another influenza season, experts have been watching the Southern Hemisphere winter for hints of what might be in store for us in the North. Reports from Australia have caused mounting concern, with record-high numbers of laboratory-confirmed influenza notifications and outbreaks and higher-than-average numbers of hospitalizations and deaths.1 The number of notifications reached 215,280 by mid-October, far exceeding the 59,022 cases reported during the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, according to the Australian Government Department of Health. Influenza A (H3N2) viruses predominated, and the preliminary estimate of vaccine effectiveness against influenza A (H3N2) was only 10%. The implications for the Northern Hemisphere are not clear, but it is of note that the vaccine for this upcoming season has the same composition as that used in the Southern Hemisphere. As we prepare for a potentially severe influenza season, we must consider whether our current vaccines can be improved and whether longer-term, transformative vaccine approaches are needed to minimize influenza-related morbidity and mortality.

my bold for enphasis


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 Post subject: Re: Very Active Flu Season This Year! Vaccine 10% Effective
Post Posted: Dec 1, 2017 7:13 am 
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Disappointing for sure!

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 Post subject: Re: Very Active Flu Season This Year! Vaccine 10% Effective
Post Posted: Dec 1, 2017 8:41 am 
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If you really do have the "flu" and get to your doctor right away, they can administer antiviral drugs. It won't cure it, but it will make symptoms less severe and duration a few days shorter.

Last January, we both got really sick, and I went to doctor. They swabbed my nose for testing but it came back negative for flu. We had a bad cold. It has been a LONG time since I have had a "cold" and it kicked my butt.

I get a flu shot each fall.

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 Post subject: Re: Very Active Flu Season This Year! Vaccine 10% Effective
Post Posted: Dec 1, 2017 10:05 am 
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I do, too. I even convinced (nagged) Stecat into getting one. I guess 10% is better than 0%. :?

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 Post subject: Re: Very Active Flu Season This Year! Vaccine 10% Effective
Post Posted: Dec 1, 2017 11:08 am 
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Wily Fox aka Angela wrote:
If you really do have the "flu" and get to your doctor right away, they can administer antiviral drugs. It won't cure it, but it will make symptoms less severe and duration a few days shorter.

I had exactly that experience when I came down with the Swine Flu a few years back. I was possibly the sickest I have ever been, and had to get myself to the doctor (that was an experience) ... but they gave me fluids and a couple of prescriptions and the flu was much more tolerable after that. I second WF's recommendation to not hesitate to get to the doctor if you think you have the flu.

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