It’s flu season and this year’s turning out to be really horrible.
In Pennsylvania alone, there have been 32 deaths that are associated with influenza A (H3N2). This is according to the January 13th 2017/18 Influenza Season Data of the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
And according to CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the flu vaccines are generally less effective against influenza A(H3N2) viruses. One reason provided by CDC is how quickly A(H3N2) viruses tend to change compared to influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 and influenza B viruses.
Despite the lower effectiveness of the flu vaccines, getting influenza vaccination still prevents a large burden of illness, including hospitalizations and deaths.
In CDC’s December 27 health advisory, the first recommendation states:
CDC recommends antiviral medications for treatment of influenza as an important adjunct to annual influenza vaccination.
And if you have acquired the virus, here’s a useful fact sheet issued by CDC.
Remember, prevention is a lot better than cure. And preventative measures can only be taken with the right knowledge at hand.