Flu season in full swing in county

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Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every season, the CDC recommends.

There are several steps people may take in order to stay healthy during flu season.

DPH reports 18 of the cases were Type A H3N2. Even a highly infectious flu virus would be temporarily stymied in winter if the seasonal flu had already infected much of the population.

Flu season in full swing in county
Flu season in full swing in county

"Given that most of the USA influenza-vaccine supply is now produced in eggs and the composition of the 2017-2018 Northern Hemisphere vaccine is identical to that used in Australia, it is possible that we will experience low vaccine effectiveness against influenza A (H3N2) viruses and a relatively severe influenza season if they predominate", Fauci wrote.

This year's vaccine is only 10% effective.

In Australia, the flu season is now over, but there were a record number of cases that resulted in above-average rates of hospitalizations and deaths.

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In addition to lowering your chances of getting the flu, the shot can also make the illness milder if you do catch it. Studies of pregnant women who get the flu shot have also shown it can reduce their newborns' risk of catching the flu by half.

"It's still better to get a flu shot that may not be as effective than to get no shot at all", she said.

Seasonal flu infection peaks between June and October in India, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, with India, Thailand and Vietnam registering an additional minor peak from December to February, shows World Health Organization research.

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The lower effectiveness of the vaccine against H3N2 is attributed to genetic changes in the virus as it circulates, as well as changes to the virus as it's grown in eggs, which is part of the production process for vaccines.

The virus started spreading last month. The shot can come with common side effects, however, including soreness, low-grade fever and muscle aches.

Since the recommended vaccine for the coming flu season in the northern hemisphere, including India, is the same as the one that was mostly ineffective against H3N2 in Australia, epidemiologists predict a potentially severe influenza season in the north, with more severe disease, hospitalizations and deaths. It is the same vaccine that is being used in the United States.

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Watson said that anyone interested in getting a flu shot can contact Public Health at 307-672-5169 during regular business hours. In addition to receiving the flu shot, people should practice "everyday preventative actions", such as avoiding people who are sick, covering coughs and sneezes, and frequent and proper handwashing.

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