Early flu season could leave more North Dakotans sick

Early flu season could leave more North Dakotans sick

The CDC says that hospitalizations and outpatient visits because of the flu cost people more than $10 billion a year.

This year's shot is the same as the one used in 2016-17, containing components for three major strains: A/H1N1, A/H3N2 and B/Victoria, based on a recommendation by the World Health Organization made in February.

The flu usually comes on suddenly and often with a fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, and headaches.

Winter is in the air and so is flu season, especially in the South.

"This is the time to get a flu shot", said Mills.

Among health care workers who declined the vaccine, the most common reason is fear of experiencing side effects or getting sick from the vaccine. Some patients believe they can protect themselves by boosting their immune systems, eating well and making sure they sleep better, she said.

"Because there is a risk, there should be a choice", Smith said. Other groups who are at high risk include children 5 and younger, pregnant women and those with chronic medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease.

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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).

More than 7,000 cases of the flu have already been confirmed in the U.S. The article's authors also noted that "the vaccine prevented about a third of all illness by all of the types of flu", Flannery said. Flu vaccines offer lasting protection against the flu for the entire flu season.

Dr. Allison McGeer, director of infection control at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, said lab testing in Ontario is turning up "quite a lot of B isolates, almost as many Bs as H3N2".

H3N2 is a subtype of influenza A, viruses which tend to cause more severe disease in some segments of the population, specifically the elderly and young children.

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University, said that vaccine effectiveness is not a simple measure.

If you do catch the flu, Brammer suggests taking antivirals such as Tamiflu to reduce the number of days you are sick. The nasal spray vaccine that has been available in recent years is no longer considered effective and is not available.

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