April 26, 2018

KUMACA swine flu under control - Health Director

14 December 2017, 10:23 | Leigh Flowers

The number of confirmed flu cases in New York State by week for the last four flu seasons. chart NYS DOH

NYS DOH flu seasons 2017

This season's flu vaccine includes the same H3N2 vaccine component as last season, and most circulating H3N2 viruses that have been tested in the U.S. this season are still similar to the H3N2 vaccine virus.

Some flu protection is better than no flu protection. Flu season occurs primarily from October through May, often peaking in February.

Quinlisk continued: "It may not stop every sniffle, but if you're someone who wants to not get seriously ill, doesn't want to end up in the hospital and certainly doesn't want to die, this is a good vaccine to get and to be honest, about the only vaccine we have right now for the flu".

"Estimates of influenza-associated mortality are important for national and worldwide decision making on public health priorities", the report said.

According to CDC numbers, vaccine effectiveness usually ranges from around 40 to 60-percent, but they do occasionally dip in certain seasons when the vaccine created doesn't match well with the type of flu circulating.

Officials from both agencies are urging residents to get their annual flu shot.

"The Australia data is interesting, but we don't know yet how well it applies to us", said Dr. Michael Parry, director of infectious diseases at Stamford Hospital.

The strain is H3N2 that hit Australia.

The CDC notes that the flu vaccine is safe for pregnant women as well as breastfeeding mothers, who can reduce their risk of catching the flu and passing it on to their infants by receiving a flu shot.

The county says flu vaccinations are also available to uninsured children up to age 18 and children with state-sponsored insurance plans. Getting vaccinated also protects the baby several months after birth.

In Connecticut, influenza A viruses are dominating in the state, as they are nationwide.

He predicts the peak of flu season will hit sometime between late December and early March 2018.

Hartford County was close behind, with 43 cases, and New Haven County was a distant third with 26. Earlier the experts said that the flu-related diseases claim around 250 to 500 thousand lives each year, but now the same experts state that the number of deaths caused by respiratory ailments is actually around 650,000.

The regional classification is one step down from "widespread", which represents the highest level of flu activity.

"We're planning on this being a fairly robust flu season", he said.

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