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Despite wrong vaccine virus, flu vaccination still effective: CDC
03 January 2018, 01:36 | Todd Saunders
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Dr. Jerome Leis, the medical director for infection prevention and control at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, says it's too early to tell what kind of flu season Ontario will experience, and whether we are destined to face the same fate as Australia.
That's because this year's vaccine may not effectively protect against two strains of flu, called H3N2 and the Influenza B virus.
According to Dr. Naveed Mohammad, vice president of medical affairs at William Osler, a hospital system in Peel region, the week of December 17 to December 23 saw nearly twice as many confirmed flu cases in the GTA than in the previous week.
The annual flu vaccination program began on October 1 previous year, offering free flu shots to high-risk groups, including toddlers, students under the age of 18 and patients suffering from chronic diseases.
The CDC said the latest World Health Organization report showed that the dominant circulating viruses are influenza A subtype H3N2 in the U.S. and Canada, influenza A subtype H1N1 in Japan and influenza B in Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, China and Europe, adding that people who are planning to travel overseas should take proper pre-emptive measures. "Advice, tips, information and videos on getting over flu and other common illnesses are available at a new HSE website.The site was developed by the HSE along with Global Positioning System and pharmacists and is a great resource for people to get advice and get better".
Symptoms of influenza can include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.
And she adds the messages about flu prevention are the same as they have been every year.
The Type B virus has been responsible for 68 percent of confirmed severe cases, CDC said.
If your symptoms are definitely more in line with flu but you're not in the high risk groups, Dr. Kelleher, suggests staying at home, resting, drinking plenty of fluids and using over-the-counter remedies like paracetamol to ease symptoms. Influenza A is the most common subtype in the region this season.
Dohn encouraged people to wash their hands, cover your mouth when you cough, and to stay away from people when you are ill.
Colds generally do not result in serious health problems, such as pneumonia, bacterial infections or hospitalizations.
Who should get the vaccine?
Most people who get influenza recover after a few days, but some people may develop serious complications.
Children younger than 6 months are too young to get a flu shot. This might include gelatin, antibiotics, or other ingredients. The percentages of urgent care and emergency room visit for people presenting with flu-like symptoms also increased by almost 28 percent in Montgomery County.
"We want to do everything we can to prevent the transmission of flu and so when I talk to my patients about getting the flu shot, I say, it's the most you can do, so you might as well take advantage of what you can do", he said.
Between 600,000 and 2.4 million Pennsylvania residents will get the flu this year.
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