Public Health Experts Look Ahead to Better Flu Control

Posted February 15, 2018

"It's definitely not too late to get protection from the flu for your entire family". Schuyler County Public Health actively monitors the flu and flu-like illness in the county each year. As of this week, the number of reported cases of students seen for the flu at the Student Health Center appears to have topped out, Huey says, noting that students who live off campus or were seen by other health care providers are not reflected in his numbers.

Unfortunately, the flu season probably won't start winding down anytime soon, Schuchat added.

Loeb said it's challenging to pinpoint how effective the flu shot is in preventing the flu because it depends on what strain is being discussed. It's a wake-up call about how severe influenza can be, and why we can never let down our guard, ' Schuchat said.

The flu season this year is bad.

"The proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia & influenza is 10.1 percent this week".

Public health officials still encourage people to get a flu shot, saying that the antibodies can help fight the virus.

The campaign reminds community members to be diligent about washing their hands, avoid sharing personal items with others and staying home for at least 24 hours if any symptoms are present.

In response to the alarming number of flu cases, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo directed the state health commissioner Thursday to authorize emergency funding to New York's 62 counties, with the flu season typically being over by the end of May. During the current flu season, H3N2 viruses have been most common.

When you get sick from one particular strain of flu virus, your body develops an immune response that will protect you from getting re-infected with the very same bug. "We may be on track to reach or even exceed that level", warns Dr. Anne Schuchat of the Centers for Disease Control. She says, historically, about 80 percent of children who have died from influenza were not vaccinated.

An already aggressive flu season is becoming more challenging. Your likelihood of getting the same flu again is lower - but you can become infected with a different strain.

This year's flu, H3N2, is particularly strong as the flu vaccine distributed this year was not an optimal match for the virus circulating and has created a stir of the virus across the United States, rather than in pocketed regions as normally demonstrated in flu seasons past. If you are experiencing fever, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, muscle aches and headaches, visit your doctor immediately, and take antivirals if prescribed.