Higher vaccine rate attributes to healthier flu season

Cheryl Sanders
January 29, 2019

Further, the Center for Disease Control shows that last flu season, stretching from fall 2017 into spring 2018, almost 200 deaths in Kansas were directly linked to the flu.

For young children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems, the flu virus can be deadly, and it isn't always obvious who is vulnerable. The actual number of Canadians who contracted influenza without seeing a health-care provider would be many times higher.

"It is getting to the point that we are having a long flu season every year", he said.

Flu shots work. They aren't ideal, but they can help prevent you from getting sick with the flu and have other benefits.

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Also, according to Richard K. Zimmerman, MD, MPH, professor of family medicine, and associate professor of behavioral and community health sciences, University of Pittsburgh, flu vaccine rates dropped 40 percent previous year, and 79,000 people in the United States died from the flu (the typical number is 23,000). The agency also noted three new flu-related deaths in children.

"But we have to remember that even after we've passed the peak, there are still several weeks of influenza activity even on the downslope of the curve".

Calgary has been a hotbed of flu activity this season, with a total of nine deaths in the city linked to the virus. People tend to get vaccinated more when they develop a habit of doing so. Flu vaccination also has been shown to reduce severity of illness among people who get vaccinated but still get sick.

"The flu is still spreading just the same", she said.

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Coughing, sneezing, and body aches are all signs of the flu.

"I know from studying the evidence that vaccination works, and is the only effective way to prevent the spread of the flu virus".

This season's influenza vaccine appears to be highly effective, reducing the risk of infection with the dominant circulating flu strain by more than 70 per cent - far better than what was seen with last year's shot, Canadian researchers say. If people have the attitude that vaccines help them and everyone stay healthy, they are more likely to get vaccinated.

He says people need to remember that while they may recover, others they come in contact with could have underlying health conditions which make them more susceptible to the flu.

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