Flu season has started, and influenza vaccines are now available.
Flu seasons are notoriously unpredictable, but consensus isn’t in question on how to best prepare for them.
Australia reported 93,711 laboratory-confirmed flu illnesses on August 18, which is about 2.5-times the average number of flu illnesses. As a result, the researchers found that participants had very high levels of antibody – and therefore protection – for two out of three of the viruses present in the vaccination, even before they were vaccinated.
Health officials will also be closely watching for any possible mismatch between circulating strains and those included in the vaccine. Typically, a vaccine strain of the flu is about a 40 to 60 percent genetic match to the virus it’s supposed to provide immunity for.
Flu vaccines are recommended for everyone aged 6 months and older, with some children requiring two rounds but most adults only needing one shot. Strains for vaccines are grown in hen’s eggs. Every year there are things we can do to protect ourselves, and it’s a good idea to brush up on the latest advice, courtesy of Nurse Practitioner Maria Walls, a member of BJC Medical Group who practices at Missouri Baptist Medical Center. Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults, according to the Department of Public Health.
Are there enough vaccinations this year? A flu vaccine is the first and best way to prevent influenza.
Manufacturers say between 151 million and 166 million doses will be available this year.
All vaccines protect against two types of influenza A, which can be transmitted from animals.
Flu is caused by influenza viruses, and is spread mainly by coughing, sneezing and close contact. “Sometimes you just need that physical reminder of comfort”, Creighton said.
Healthcare workers should “lead by example” and get their influenza vaccinations sooner than later, health officials said on Thursday. In the U.S., CDC’s Jernigan said this year’s shots aren’t ideal – but that the H3N2 strain traveling around the globe hasn’t significantly changed, so the vaccine remains a pretty good match. “It’s for everyone that you encounter in the grocery store, at work”, she said. “Really if you’re sick, just don’t come to school because that makes other people feel the same way you do and then what if I miss my test because you can’t take your test?”
The flu shot, of course, is not flawless, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says getting vaccinated reduces the chance of catching the flu by 40 to 60 percent.
In short, more research needs to be done to determine whether being happy truly has an effect on flu shot efficacy.
Treatment for the H3N2 virus is the same as those who contract the seasonal flu, which include a regimen of antiviral medication. Practicing good prevention habits can keep you and your family healthy.
Panelists at NFID’s media briefing emphasized the key role health providers play in encouraging patients to be vaccinated, and they also added a reminder about offering pneumococcal vaccine for those recommended to receive it.