Medical experts: Flu season may be a bad one

It's peak flu season: Here's what you need to know

First flu-related death in eastern Washington confirmed in Spokane County

"We're seeing now that the vast majority of the strains that are early-circulating now right now in the United States...are this H3N2, which historically is always the worse influenza, for example, than an H1N1", Fauci said. Bob Lutz, Spokane Regional Health District's health officer.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that an annual flu vaccine is the "the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses". The highest number of hospitalizations was reported among people older than 50, as well as children younger than 5 - groups that are at greater risk of severe illness and complications due to flu.

Flu season is here, and so are the latest numbers from the Washington State Health Department. "It may be a bad flu season, and in particular, in a bad season, you want to get every bit of protection you can". Flu season in Spokane County typically peaks in February. Researchers vociferate that this directs towards a prospective intrinsic defect in the way flu vaccines are produced.

Flu shots are available at numerous locations throughout Spokane County, including health care provider offices, local pharmacies, and grocery stores.

To create a vaccine for each flu strain, manufacturers grow billions of WHO-selected viruses in chicken eggs, STAT reports.

Researchers discovered an overlooked mutation in two of the viral strains used in the vaccine.

According to an article in the New England Journal of Medicine, the flu vaccine used in Australia, that's pretty much the same as the one in the US, was only ten percent effective. With a needle-free shot, a jet injector uses a high-pressure, narrow stream of fluid to penetrate the skin instead of a needle.

Australia's 10 percent success rate is a major blow to the hopes of Americans lining up for flu shots this year.

"They use the strains that have hit countries in the other hemispheres because they tend to get it before we do, so they can kind of have an idea of what might be coming in this direction", said Kathy Tyndall, a physician assistant at GraceMed.

"We strongly recommend people get vaccinated and take all the preventative measures", Rahman said. CDC estimates that flu resulted in 9.2 million to 35.6 million USA infections since 2010.

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