Experts Say Arkansas Could See Worst Flu Season in Years

Spike in flu cases in Pima County, new report shows vaccine 10% effective

Campbell County began reporting flu cases in September and October, which is earlier than past year, Public Health Director Jane Glaser said.

Mahoning County Health Commissioner Pat Sweeney said on any given year there is a 40 to 60 percent match - vaccine to virus.

Meanwhile, the authors of NEJM report suggest a renewed effort to work toward better, more effective flu vaccines.

Flu season has started earlier than usual and a recent study suggests this year's vaccine is less effective than in years past - a unsafe combination that has state public health officials warning people about the potentially deadly virus. "We can't make a judgment on how effective it is at this point", said Rebb. "It is not too late to get a flu shot to protect yourself and your loved ones from the flu".

"Typically in years when the predominant strain is H3N2, there are more hospitalizations, more severe disease and people tend to get sicker", said Dr. Michael Ison, a professor of infectious disease and organ transplantation at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. The CDC advises that the disease may be prevented by avoiding close contact with infected persons and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs and toys. This year, they are already up to 63.

The flu season may be worse this year. The flu vaccine in made up of the same compositions as the one used in the U.S.

Skiest said people can avoid numerous complications associated with the virus by getting the shot. By getting flu vaccine, we can help protect those who are most at risk by preventing the spread of flu to them. Not for two decades did Jonas Salk and Thomas Francis develop the first vaccine against flu viruses in 1938, though it was not available to the masses for another 7 years.

Dr. Lopez says one reason is because not everybody responds to the vaccine.

The CDC recommends everyone age 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every season. Influenza is a highly contagious viral infection passed by coughs and sneezes, saliva and skin-to-skin contact or contact with a contaminated surface.

Some people are more vulnerable to serious flu illness, including infants, children, elders and people with certain chronic health issues.

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