This Year's Flu Season Gearing Up to Surpass 2016

The County Health and Human Services Agency reported Wednesday the number of influenza cases reported this season is pacing 3-to-1 over last year's numbers. Each flu season, the vaccine is tailored to protect against the most common strains of the current year.

Last week, a total of 612 patients in North Carolina were tested for the flu, with six tests coming back with positive. The only exclusions are for people who have documented severe reactions to prior vaccinations. Health officials say San Diego has already reported 203 laboratory-confirmed flu cases this season, whereas previous year at this time, there were only 60 confirmed flu cases.

Flu-related hospitalizations since 2010 ranged from 140,000 to 710,000, according to the CDC.

CDC recommends people to renew their flu vaccine each year.

Now is the right time to be getting the flu shot, said Catherine Passaretti, the medical director for infection prevention with Carolinas HealthCare System.

Frequent hand hygiene using soap and water, or alcohol-based products such as hand gels when hands are not visibly soiled.

Fluzone High-Dose: It is a high potency vaccine that contains four times the amount of antigen compared to a standard flu shot.

Every year the flu vaccine is changed to include a mixture of strains of the virus that has circulated in prior years, Passaretti said. Flu shots will be offered to parents, siblings, and direct caregivers of Riley patients for free. According to CDC, the yearly flu vaccine is the first and most important step in guarding yourself against the flu viruses.

The elderly people, the very young, the pregnant and the immunocompromised people are more likely to catch flu in the flu season.

The effectiveness of the vaccine depends on health status and the match between the viruses circulating in the person's community and those used to make the shot. Influenza symptoms are usually worse than a cold and last longer.

Colby also said a lot of people seem to misunderstand exactly what the flu is. You've got a lot of things working against you. This is important for older adults who have weaker immune defenses and have a great risk of developing risky flu complications.

Local GPs are calling for the thousands of people, who are at high risk of medical complications from seasonal flu, to get the free flu jab this autumn.

"It's a matter of concern", he said of Australia's season, "but it's not definitive whatsoever and we may have a mild flu season, we can not predict it". About 33 percent of the population in 38 states gets vaccinated.

Government announced this week that flu shots would be available starting October 23 through both public clinics and family doctors.

Those who are most vulnerable to flu are being urged to get their free flu vaccination ahead of winter.

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