Pima County flu cases 7x what they were this time previous year

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For scientists like me who study the flu virus as part of the World Health Organization's team responsible for developing the vaccine each year, this time of year is also our "World Series" when we must be on top of our game, ready to prepare the public with the best medical and scientific information available. Doctors, she said, may prescribe anti-viral medication for those with higher-risk conditions. "Luckily, most people who get sick with it will do okay".

Flu season typically begins in October and runs through March.

So far this year, the predominant strain of flu is H3N2. Ironically, the latter of the three has had a very strong resurgence this year in Australia, especially the northeastern state of Queensland. That's how last year's flu season played out. However, only about one-third of those tested to be actual cases of the flu, and almost all of those confirmed flu cases were indeed one of the three strains targeted by the current flu shot serum. And that last season, Rigler continued, lasted unusually long, into the summer months, with 100 or more cases a week into June and July. Since Oct. 1, Mountain States hospitals have recorded 80 positive flu cases. The other half of the equation is the public's civic duty to help protect one another by getting the flu vaccination even if you don't think you need it. "Whenever we have a season that's predominately H3N2, we tend to have more outbreaks". That's why flu vaccines also change each year.

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While it's too early for disease control experts to evaluate the efficacy of this year's vaccine, health officials say that even in seasons when the flu vaccine is not a flawless match for the most common strain of the virus floating around that year, people who are vaccinated experience less severe symptoms if they do become infected.

Several areas throughout IL are experiencing heightened flu activity, and one preliminary report shows the flu vaccine may only be 10% effective.

Recent reports have questioned the effectiveness of this year's vaccine, with some experts warning it could only be 10% effective. Rigler said it takes about two weeks for the body to react to the killed virus in the vaccine to build up an immunity. "Most people have no reaction at all, other than mild soreness in the arm where the shot was administered".

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