Flu vaccine may only be 10 percent effective, experts warn

Flu vaccine may only be 10 percent effective, experts warn

But she said it's too early to predict what strain will predominate or how severe the season will be.

While some seasons don't kick off until February, we are already seeing a surge in people hospitalized with influenza-like symptoms - at a rate even faster and earlier than we saw in 2014.

The health department said people can prevent transmitting the flu by covering their coughs, washing their hands frequently, and staying home when feeling ill. "They're just telling you there's an iceberg there".

Nearly 860 confirmed cases have been reported this flu season, compared to 242 at the same time previous year. Next are, in order, York, Cumberland and Androscoggin counties.

A month ago the total number was 156 flu cases.

Darryl Nelson, the chief medical officer for the HCA Midwest Health System, said the system's eight area hospitals have "just started in the last week or two to see a noticeable uptick" in patients with flu-like symptoms. "So you put those two things together and it's reasonable to expect we're going to have a more severe flu season than usual".

"Due to the confirmed influenza presence in Flathead County, it is now more important than ever to be vaccinated against influenza to protect everyone, including the most vulnerable populations", the health department said in a press release.

"A vaccine that might not prevent you from getting the flu might prevent you from getting a serious complication". "Once it's here, it'll spread like a brushfire". Although its successful completion will take many years, one of its goals is to develop a vaccine that could be delivered perhaps once every five or ten years instead of annually, as it is now.

Despite recent news that the flu shot may not be as effective as in the past, health officials are still recommending that people get the shot.

"It hits you like a freight train", she said.

He said it's not too late to get vaccinated and there's evidence that even if the vaccine is not a flawless match for a flu strain it can lessen the duration, severity and communicability of the illness. A person can contract the flu by breathing in these tiny droplets. The current existing vaccine, fabricated in spring, has been analyzed by scientists, who believe it will be only 10% effective this time.

Researchers found antibodies elicited by the vaccine in ferrets and humans "did a poor job of neutralizing H3N2 viruses that circulated last year".

If you do get flu, keep it to yourself, Mills said.

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