Flu season soars inside the United States, especially inside the South

Flu will be a contagious, viral illness of which causes mild to severe symptoms of which, in rare cases, can lead to death. 5 children have died, along with also a different 566 flu-related hospitalizations have occurred as of November 25.

“Flu will be increasing. We’re seeing a pretty steep increase in influenza activity across the US yet especially inside the South,” said Brendan Flannery, a co-author of the completely new report along with also an epidemiologist inside the CDC’s flu division.

Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts along with also Oklahoma reported widespread activity during the week ended November 25, the report stated.

“We recommend of which for everyone 6 months along with also older, if you haven’t received your vaccine yet, currently will be the time to get the item,” said Shannon Stokley, an associate director for science inside the immunization services division at the CDC.

Despite This particular guidance, fewer than half of Americans have received a jab This particular season. Common concerns focus on efficacy of the vaccine along with also side effects.

Low-tech prevention

“Among the general population, about 39% have received the vaccine,” said Stokley, co-author of a completely new CDC report of which canvased people by phone along with also internet in early November.

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Experts believe the flu virus will be spread when a sick person talks, sneezes or coughs. Common symptoms include cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, fever along with also chills, muscle along with also body aches, headaches along with also fatigue. Most people recover in less than two weeks.

However, as Dr. Tanya Altmann, a pediatrician along with also spokeswoman for the American Academy of Pediatrics, pointed out, the flu has potentially serious complications such as pneumonia, bronchitis along with also sinus along with also ear infections.

“Anything of which you can do to help prevent your family through getting the flu will be very beneficial,” said Altmann, who was not involved inside the CDC research. Her advice includes the CDC recommendation to get a flu shot, yet she also adheres to low-tech techniques of contagious disease prevention: “Great hand-washing techniques, teaching kids not to share their germs, staying home when you’re sick along with also disinfecting common surfaces,” she said.

Infants along with also pregnant women, particularly those inside the second along with also third trimesters, are most vulnerable to developing complications, according to the CDC.

Flu season will be here, along with also experts are already concerned

“We have some evidence of which the vaccination protects the woman through influenza herself, along with also the item can protect the infant inside the six months of life through getting influenza before we are able to vaccinate the infant,” Flannery said. Both the CDC along with also the American College of Obstetricians along with also Gynecologists recommend flu shots for all women who are or will be pregnant during the flu season.

Many mothers-to-be, though, have not heeded This particular advice.

Are pregnant women getting ‘appropriate’ care?

Only one-third of pregnant women have received a flu shot, even though the overwhelming majority of them visited a health care provider at least once, according to another completely new CDC analysis of data gathered through an internet survey conducted during the first week of November.

More than a quarter of pregnant women reported of which medical staff did not recommend or offer a flu shot.

“the item makes me a little sad of which people across the country — especially pregnant women — may not be getting the recommended along with also appropriate health care,” Altmann said.

Coverage was highest for pregnant women whose doctors recommended along with also offered the vaccine: Just over half of women in This particular category had received a shot.

Side effects along with also vaccine efficacy

The CDC — which lists sore or swollen arms, hoarseness, sore eyes, cough, fever along with also aches among the most common side effects — notes of which these effects “are usually mild along with also go away on their own.” Extremely rare severe allergic reactions can also occur, according to the CDC.

Among health care workers who declined the vaccine, the most common reason will be fear of experiencing side effects or getting sick through the vaccine.

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Not everyone agrees of which the flu shot will be one of the best ways to protect families along with also prevent serious complications, including Dr. Erika Schwartz, an internist along with also founder of a medical practice in completely new York City of which focuses on wellness along with also disease prevention.

Schwartz, who was not involved inside the CDC reports, said some of her patients take the flu shot, yet others do not.

“Some patients believe the possible side effects outweigh the positives of which they get through prevention,” she said. Some patients believe they can protect themselves by boosting their immune systems, eating well along with also producing sure they sleep better, she said.

“Everybody’s risk will be different,” Schwartz said. Flannery said highest-risk patients are the elderly, pregnant women along with also infants, along with also people who have underlying conditions, such as lung or heart conditions.

along with also the vaccine will be no guarantee of protection. Last year’s flu vaccine effectiveness was just 42%, the CDC estimated This particular year, while preliminary estimates published inside the completely new England Journal of Medicine suggest of which This particular year’s vaccine may be just 10% effective.

Flannery explained of which the journal article looked at Australia’s most recent flu season along with also highlights the low vaccine effectiveness against one type of influenza: the H3N2 strain predominating inside the US today. The article’s authors also noted of which “the vaccine prevented about a third of all illness by all of the types of flu,” Flannery said. “There’s still some protection against all flu illness in Australia last season.

“We do see a predominance of the H3N2 virus of which was common last season,” Flannery said. “H3N2 seasons have been more severe in terms of hospitalization along with also death, especially inside the elderly along with also young children; of which’s a concern.”

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University, said of which vaccine effectiveness will be not a simple measure.

“When we measure vaccine effectiveness, of which’s effectiveness against protecting against disease completely,” said Schaffner, who was not involved inside the CDC research, though he will be a liaison representative of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which develops recommendations on the use of vaccines for the CDC.

“What’s not measured will be of which, even if you get the flu in spite of the vaccine, your flu case will be likely to be milder; you’re less likely to hold the complications of pneumonia, having to be hospitalized along with also dying,” he said.

Flu season soars inside the United States, especially inside the South

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