Flu comes earlier and harder this year

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53 were diagnosed with the type A flu virus, and 49 others were confirmed with the type B influenza.

Flatheads public health officer Hillary Hanson said her office was surprised to see fatalities at this point in the season, given that influenza rates have just begun to pick up.

"They had quite a substantial epidemic due to H3N2, so there's a lot of speculation that that's foreboding a severe season for us also", she said from Vancouver.

And because most people who show flu symptoms don't go to the doctor and get tested, state epidemiologist Alfred DeMaria cautioned those numbers represent only a small portion of actual cases.

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"If you've been vaccinated you're much less likely to have very severe illness, less likely to need to be hospitalized, and less likely to die. the vaccine is must more effective if you happen to catch one of the other strains of the flu that's cirruclating".

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The first two flu-related deaths of the season were reported in the Flathead Wednesday afternoon.

'Some of the early assessments of the vaccine from the Australia epidemic in their winter, our summer, suggest about a 10 percent vaccine efficacy which would then mean it was 10 percent effective in preventing the disease'. Every year, he treats critically ill children whose lives are threatened by the flu. "It is also notable to state that over time the flu vaccine does wear off, making it necessary to receive it annually".

The flu season is declared under-way once we have reached an above-average number of people with influenza symptoms (i.e. more than 2.2 percent of people).

San Diego County has more than three times the number of confirmed flu cases than this time previous year, the County Health and Human Services Agency announced Wednesday. In this regard, the CDC estimates that influenza vaccination averted 40,000 deaths in the United States between the 2005-2006 and 2013-2014 seasons. The nasal spray vaccine that has been available in recent years is no longer considered effective and is not available.

The flu vaccine is recommended for just about everyone 6 months of age and older, but pregnant women, the elderly and people with chronic illness are especially vulnerable to the illness.

Those individuals may have a weakened immune system, therefore making it more hard for them to fight off the flu.