Flu cases on the rise in Southwest Florida

Ebony Scott
January 5, 2018

The increasing number of flu cases has been put down to a surge in two aggressive subtypes - one of which being Aussie flu - as health officials warn a jab that has already been received by thousands of patients is ineffective against the prominent strain.

According to an estimate, vaccinations were 10 percent effective against the H3N2 strain when it swept through Australia in August, giving the Aussies a awful flu season. "It's not as robust as a younger person", said Dr. Polly Baldwin, Medical Director for the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department.

"But we definitely have heard some reports from Australia and their past flu season, they've reported lower vaccine effectiveness", Tan said.

"Patients experiencing flu symptoms should see a health provider, including primary care or urgent care, as soon as possible, because there is a prescription medicine that can reduce the duration and symptoms".

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"More outbreaks have been reported so far this season than in previous seasons at this time, which may be an early indication of a more severe influenza season".

The flu is spreading faster than usual, and for older adults, health officials say it's crucial to take extra precautions. The child was not vaccinated. It is widespread in most states except for Michigan, Iowa, Utah, Nevada, North Carolina, New Jersey, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont where localized cases are reported. "Although a flu shot is never 100 percent effective, a vaccination is the best way to prevent getting sick from the flu and getting serious flu complications".

"They are more likely to get the flu, and when they get it, it's harder for them to get rid of it and get well", Dr. Baldwin added. The vaccine is recommended for everyone six months and older, including pregnant women, according to the state health department.

"If someone is recovering from a disease or illness, the last thing they need is getting something else", said Michael Perreault, a registered nurse. "It takes a couple of weeks for the immunity to develop from that shot". Dukes says it isn't too late to get a shot since flu season can run well into the spring in Oklahoma. The vaccine also is available at many commercial pharmacies, including at CVS, Walgreens and Walmart; and grocery stores such as Publix and Winn Dixie.

Other reports by GizPress

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