Flu season has arrived early to North America this year, and it may end up being a doozy.
According to the CDC, flu activity most commonly peaks in the US between December and February.
Four states are reporting widespread outbreaks of the flu. "But this year, all indications are that we are seeing more flu earlier in the year and we anticipate more cases", said Dr. Randall Williams, director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. So far a total of 671 cases statewide for the season, 20 of which were from Coconino County, and as you might expect reported cases are only a small percentage of the actual cases of the flu we see people suffering from within our community... It's hard to make predictions about how a flu season will play out, as flu viruses are wildly unpredictable.
There are a several different strains of flu viruses, and the main culprit in Australia was a strain called H3N2. That's more than double what they were at this time previous year.
Health officials are recommending that people get the vaccine even though it's not known how effective it will be.
A report published in The New England Journal of Medicine says this year's flu vaccine is only about 10% effective against the influenza A strain. "Rite Aid pharmacists undergo special training and are professionally certified to administer immunizations and with thousands of locations across the country, Rite Aid pharmacies are a convenient and professional setting for flu shots". "The most important thing is still to get your flu vaccine".