First 2 flu-related deaths of season in Washoe County

Expect a Bad Flu Season

The flu season is finally upon us, but recent reports revealed that this year's flu shot may be ineffective.

"And this is very early".

He encourages people age 65 and older to talk with their doctor about getting one of the vaccines created to give older people a better immune response, and therefore, better protection against flu. "We're having about five times the amount of influenza B pickup during the autumn period in British Columbia than we typically have", she said. "The highest number of flu-related hospitalizations has occurred among those who are older than 50 years of age, as well as children younger than 5, which are both groups at greater risk of experiencing severe illness and complications due to flu", the health department said in a statement on November 30.

"We do see a predominance of the H3N2 virus that was common last season", Flannery said.

Dr. Allison McGeer, director of infection control at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, said lab testing in Ontario is turning up "quite a lot of B isolates, almost as many Bs as H3N2".

For answers to questions about the flu and the flu vaccine, people can access the CDC website at www.cdc.gov, or contact the Brownwood/Brown County Health Department at 325-646-0554. But those strains aren't exact matches to the two strains that are now circulating through the population. As health officials rushed to contain the outbreak, the CDC admitted that the 2014 flu vaccine did not protect well against H3N2 - it had just seven percent chance of protection.

This year's vaccine uses strains recommended by the World Health Organization in February: A/H1N1, A/H3N2 and B/Victoria.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say you should be vigilant with washing your hands, avoid touching your eyes and mouth, get plenty of sleep and eat healthy to help give your immune system a boost.

The groups medical professionals say are at risk for the flu, older people and pregnant women.

It is impossible to contract a case of flu from the vaccine. "And this isn't the season to be thumping the pulpit over that". Extremely rare severe allergic reactions can also occur, according to the CDC.

"Yeah, it's not a great vaccine, but it's a lot better than nothing".

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