Severe Flu Season

Officials are predicting that this year’s flu season will be a severe one.  The nation has already labeled the flu as an epidemic, due to a high number of cases in 22 states in December.

One factor is the fact that the flu vaccine is not the same strain of the predominant flu bug going around.  Officials believe that the H3N2 flu strain mutated and drastically reduced the effectiveness of the vaccine in use.  Across the country, fifteen children have died from the flu, even some who had no underlying health issues. 

Experts say the population of adults over age 65 are also greatly at risk.  In Washington state, seven people have died from the flu, in a medium range compared to the other states.  Officials still encourage people to get a flu shot.  Although it is not an exact match to the predominant flu strain, it can still offer some protection. 

To reduce the spread of the flu, remember to wash your hands often with warm, soapy water; and cough and sneeze in your elbow.