Flu shot predicted to be less effective this year

National Influenza Week stresses importance of vaccinations

Help keep the flu off the holiday party guest list: Get vaccinated

It may not sound like a disaster, since this year's flu shot is only 10 percent effective against the difficult-to-stop H3N2 strain.

Health experts are warning that this year could be a rough year for the the flu. "High fever, body aches, chills, but it's a respiratory illness that starts with a cough". There are vaccines especially designed for seniors that are available this flu season.

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

But health officials still recommend getting the flu shot, saying it still inoculates against H1N1 and is better than having no protection.

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

"The most predictable thing about flu is that it's unpredictable", Brammer said.

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

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The flu season is declared under-way once we have reached an above-average number of people with influenza symptoms (i.e. more than 2.2 percent of people).

"Everyone should get vaccinated every year it's for the best for them and for everyone as a whole", Beard. Children, pregnant women, and those 65 and older are at particular risk, as are those with chronic lung conditions.

The CDC has seen 7,000 cases this year, that double what they saw last year at this time.

About Families Fighting Flu Families Fighting Flu is a national, nonprofit, 501 (c)(3) volunteer-based advocacy organization dedicated to protecting children and their families against influenza. The cost of adult flu vaccine is $25.00.

Experts say that 24 people had to be hospitalized within the last week due to the virus, bringing the total number of hospitalizations to 135.

Most Oklahoma cases involve those age 50 or older or those four and younger. "Because if it's not the flu, it's more likely some other viral infectious etiology and we can pass viral stuff pretty easy".

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