National flu vaccine week

Maricruz Casares
Diciembre 6, 2017

But a new study is raising doubts about this year's flu shot.

The flu season occurs during the fall and winter months.

"This is the time of year when we talk about influenza and how unsafe it can be", said Matt Richardson, DCPH director, in a prepared statement.

Right now flu numbers are down in Western, New York. In the northern hemisphere, cases tend to ramp up beginning in October and typically peak anywhere from November to March, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The flu vaccine is safe, effective, and offers the best protection against the spread of flu.

This is National Influenza Vaccination Week, and while experts say the vaccine may not be as effective this season as they had hoped, it can still minimize symptoms. However, the flu vaccine was only 10% effective against that strain, meaning it reduced a person's risk of infection by 10%, according to a paper published in the public health journal Eurosurveillance.

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National influenza immunization week hits just as flu cases are beginning to increase in the Tri-State. "Flu, along with pneumonia diagnosis, is the eighth leading cause of death in the United States, and we have a vaccine to prevent it".

For the week ending December 2, there were 67 cases compared to 29 at the same time past year.

"It can be due to a change in what's circulating in the human population, or a change in the vaccine that leads to a mismatch" between the virus and the vaccine, Hirsch said. Even if you've had a flu shot before, it's important to get one every year.

"We're still seeing colds from the fall season but we're beginning to see sporadic flu activity in the community", said Dr. Chris Cunha, a pediatric doctor in Northern Kentucky.

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