Mass. Hit With Early Flu Season

Expect a Bad Flu Season

If the numbers are any indication of what's to come, people are in for a bad flu season.

While this year's vaccine works well against numerous flu virus strains out there, recent studies indicate the vaccine is less effective against the H3N2 strain.

Flu activity is listed as widespread in four states: Massachusetts, Georgia, Louisiana and Oklahoma.

Both the CDC and the Department of Public Health stress getting a flu shot.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a yearly flu vaccination as the first and most important step in protecting against the flu.

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Goudreau agrees with the authors' suggestion that research should continue to develop a better and more effective universal flu vaccine created to decrease illness and death. He encourages people age 65 and older to talk with their doctor about getting one of the vaccines created to give older people a better immune response, and therefore, better protection against flu. Such infections can dramatically increase the risk of heart attack and stroke for months after the illness has cleared.

The more people who get vaccinated, the more people will be protected from flu, including older people, very young children, pregnant women, and people with certain long-term health conditions who are more vulnerable to serious flu complications.

This winter all visitors to Vancouver hospitals and nursing homes once again must get a flu shot or wear a surgical mask.

Doctors typically look south to get an idea of what's coming.

The New England Journal of Medicine says this year's shot is only about 10% effective against the strain that hit Australia the hardest, which is the one we're expecting to get.

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