Flu Season Kicks Off Early— and It May Be a Nasty OneDecember 6, 2017 2:55pm

If you haven't gone for a flu shot yet, you may want to hurry—the season of sickness is already upon us. The CDC's weekly flu tracker notes a wider geographic spread of the illness across the US compared with this time of year in years past.

Popular Science also reports, based on baseline numbers, flu season kicked off during Thanksgiving week, a few weeks ahead of the past two flu seasons.

Per Today, the CDC's numbers also indicate four states are reporting widespread influenza activity (no states reported such in 2016 at this time). And news from Australia, which is hit with its flu season months before ours (serving as a gauge of sorts for what we may expect), isn't promising, with a record number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.

As it can take weeks for the flu shot to kick in, this all underscores the importance of people getting their shots ASAP, experts say.

Adding to the unpredictability of how we'll fare with the flu is that vaccines "are usually only about 40% to 60% effective in the best of years," Martin Hirsch, EIC of the Journal of Infectious Diseases, tells USA Today.

That's what makes the Australia news worrisome, as the main flu strain there was H3N2, the vaccine there was only about 10% effective against that strain, and the H3N2 portion of that vaccine is the same one we'll use.

But experts say it's still impossible to tell where we'll end up: The US may be mainly hit by strains other than H3N2, for example. Either way, Hirsch and others still recommend getting the shot, as it could still mitigate symptoms and keep you out of the hospital if you do get the flu.

The vaccine could also offer protection against other strains, and, thanks to herd immunity, could help protect more vulnerable people like the elderly.

More From Newser

This article originally appeared on Newser: Flu Season Kicks Off Early— and It May Be a Nasty One

Page 1 of 1

More Stories Like This

Connecticut university closes after virus sickens about 100A Connecticut university cancelled classes on Monday after about 100 students came down with an unidentified illness that’s causing stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhea.
Pitcher's Brain Hemorrhages in the Dugout
FILE - In this Aug. 3, 2017, file photo, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, right, and White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson, left, watch as President Donald Trump talks with a patient during a Veterans Affairs Department "telehealth" event in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. Now it’s Washington’s turn to examine Jackson. The doctor to Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and now Donald Trump is an Iraq War veteran nominated to head the Department of Veterans Affairs.  (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
It's time for Trump's doctor to be examined, for VA chief
Cierra universidad de Connecticut por enfermedadUna universidad de Connecticut tuvo que cerrar debido a que un centenar de estudiantes se enfermaron
Artificial Sweeteners May Not Be Sugar-Free Bliss We Hoped ForGuzzling diet soft drinks may seem like an easy workaround if you can't kick soda but want to fend off health problems spurred by sugar. A new study presented at the Experimental Biology conference over the weekend suggests otherwise—specifically when it comes to diseases like Type 2 diabetes. Gizmodo...
Trump delays drug pricing speech, no set date yet
AdChoices

Related Searches

Related Searches

AdChoices