May 21, 2018

Health officials recommend flu shots amid reports of low vaccine expectations

08 December 2017, 01:39 | Franklin Nunez

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"We have seen a little bit of an increase over the last couple of weeks, but nothing that stands out significantly", Mendez said.

Besides getting the flu shot, health officials say you should wash your hands frequently so you don't spread germs.

"Projects like this are why many of us do research", Creech said.

Matthew Maurer, Epidemiologist, says there are many various strains of the flu virus. "So, someone who has had a flu vaccine every year for the past 15 years is much more protected than someone who got their first and only flu vaccine this year", said Dr. Lon Morgan, a Family Practice Physician at Novant Health Friedberg Family Medicine. The dominant strain appears to be H3N2, which causes more severe illness than others. From Oct. 1 to December 2, a total of 254 confirmed flu cases have been reported in Philadelphia and its four suburban counties, with 80 of those cases in Delaware County.

'Some of the early assessments of the vaccine from the Australia epidemic in their winter, our summer, suggest about a 10 percent vaccine efficacy which would then mean it was 10 percent effective in preventing the disease'. But "a modest benefit [from the vaccine] is better than no benefit, especially with an illness that can cause between 12,000 and 56,000 deaths in a year". "It is also notable to state that over time the flu vaccine does wear off, making it necessary to receive it annually".

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Already, more than half of New York's counties - including Nassau and Suffolk - have had cases of the infection confirmed by Wadsworth Center, the state Department of Health's laboratory in Albany. According to the CDC, the best way *not* to get the flu, is to get vaccinated.

Flu cases this year have doubled those from last year, validating experts' fears that this season could be particularly bad.

"A vaccine that might not prevent you from getting the flu might prevent you from getting a serious complication". We don't know because once you get the flu it decreases your immune system. The nasal spray vaccine that has been available in recent years is no longer considered effective and is not available. It recommends everyone ages 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine, and experts recommend that people be vaccinated annually to cover new strains.

Though the accuracy and effectiveness of each year's vaccine varies, this year's seems on track to provide good protection against the Influenza A strains now predominating, health officials say.

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