First CT flu death of the season confirmed

2017 vaccine has low effectiveness rate

The Illinois Department of Public Health says as of last week, there have been 45 flu-related ICU admissions and one pediatric death across the state.

According to surveillance data conducted by the province on influenza rates, confirmed cases this flu season are up 60 per cent compared to the same time past year.

Flu began picking up last month.

Shelton noted flu and ILI seem especially prevalent in Northern Virginia now, but she and MSHA officials urged everyone to protect themselves and their loved ones by getting a flu vaccine and using common-sense preventative measures such as hand washing and covering coughs.

Experts have known for years that the success of a flu vaccine greatly lies with the manufacturer's ability to accurately predict which virus strain will spread the incoming flu season. "Every year, we see hospitalizations and deaths from the flu here in our region". Doctors, she said, may prescribe anti-viral medication for those with higher-risk conditions.

Mandel says it's hard to know what's behind the spike.

According to the Centers for Disease control, the flu vaccine is typically 60 percent effective. Vaccines are made each year to protect against the flu viruses that research indicates will be most common. Since Oct. 1, Mountain States hospitals have recorded 80 positive flu cases.




Most flu activity peaks between December and February, but in Florida so far, the highest number of outbreaks have been seen in the Tampa Bay area.

While it's too early for disease control experts to evaluate the efficacy of this year's vaccine, health officials say that even in seasons when the flu vaccine is not a flawless match for the most common strain of the virus floating around that year, people who are vaccinated experience less severe symptoms if they do become infected.

So are you not getting the vaccine because you've heard it's not very effective this year?

Louisiana and MS are still experiencing a high number of people with the flu.

Roberts said it is too early to tell if the flu vaccine is working but said that even a little protection helps in the long run. This year, some experts claim the flu shot may only be 10 percent effective.

The Health District keeps a list online of pharmacy and drugstore locations where flu shots are available.

A nurse administers a flu vaccine shot.

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