Published: Sun, January 27, 2019
Medicine | By Daryl Nelson

This season’s flu shot far more effective than last year’s, researchers find

This season’s flu shot far more effective than last year’s, researchers find

"The flu vaccine is always good to get every season", McConnell said. The last spike in the number of positive flu test results was in the last week of 2018 at around 1,300.

"If you're vaccinated, you have a 72 percent lower chance of getting the flu".

Doctors say the flu shot seems to be stopping the flu from becoming as widespread as it has in the past. "It's pretty unusual to see young, otherwise healthy people die of the flu in non-pandemic years, but it does happen".

On its weekly FluWatch website, PHAC said there were 20,494 laboratory-confirmed influenza cases reported by the provinces and territories as of January 12, a lot of them caused by H1N1 and most affecting those under age 65. However, seasonal flu activity this year is elevated nationally and continues to increase.

In North Carolina, 391 flu deaths were reported during the 2017-2018 flu season - the most reported during a flu season since adult flu deaths became reportable in the state in 2009.

Needless to say, many of us prefer to rely on "natural" remedies and avoid any side effects from prescription medicines in any health concern.

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Jessica Warner, disease surveillance coordinator at South Heartland District Health Department, said the number of flu cases is comparable to previous years, though recent spikes may indicate an early peak.

Health officials in B.C. say this year's flu vaccine has been particularly effective.

Of the more than 230 people hospitalized with H1N1, 48 were children nine years and younger. This is down significantly from this time a year ago when between 10 and 12 percent of visits were linked to influenza.

Influenza has an abrupt onset, typically with a fever or chills, muscle or body aches including a headache and fatigue.

It's not too late to get the shot and have it help even if you get the flu, Parry said.

"So that's a really important reduction in risk, especially for people with underlying medical conditions, who are facing a greater threat of serious complications if infected by influenza", she said from Vancouver. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and throw the tissue in the trash, then wash your hands.

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