Flu season has arrived and it could be a bad one

Flu season has arrived and it could be a bad one

You can also get the flu by touching a surface or object that has the flu virus on it and then touching your mouth, eyes or nose.

This possibility underscores the need to strive toward a "universal" influenza vaccine that will protect against seasonal influenza drift variants as well as potential pandemic strains, with better durability than current annual vaccines.

Not only has flu season arrived early, but the USA may be particularly hard-hit.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a yearly flu vaccination as the first and most important step in protecting against the flu.

There are a several different strains of flu viruses, and the main culprit in Australia was a strain called H3N2.

The more people who get vaccinated, the more people will be protected from flu, including older people, very young children, pregnant women, and people with certain long-term health conditions who are more vulnerable to serious flu complications. But the Southern Hemisphere experienced an especially bad season over the summer (their winter), with Australia reporting record-high numbers of influenza cases and a higher-than-average number of hospitalizations and deaths.

It's not too late to receive a flu shot, according to the release. Such infections can dramatically increase the risk of heart attack and stroke for months after the illness has cleared.

If you're 65 or older, there are two vaccine options created to boost immune response. "Even if it's not a flawless match, it's very important, not just for yourself, but also to protect those with whom you may come in contact - including babies too young to get vaccinated and people who have weakened immune systems".

"The flu vaccine takes two weeks to become fully effective", said Dr. Levine.

Flu shots are available throughout Chatham-Kent from a family healthcare provider, walk-in clinic or many local pharmacies.

But that doesn't mean you shouldn't go out and get your flu vaccine, Hirsch cautions.