"These steps, I will shout into the void until sweet merciful death claims me, include getting your flu shot". Check with your doctor promptly is you are at high risk for serious flu complications (adults 65 years and older, children younger than 5 years old, pregnant women, people with weakened immune systems, etc.) and develop flu symptoms.
"This is a very hard season", she said.
Between Aug. 1, 2017 and January 23, 2018, UCSB Student Health administered 1,862 flu vaccines.
The flu shot costs $25 but is provided for free to those considered to be at high risk and to people who come into contact with those individuals, such as caregivers and health care workers.
Leaders say this year we have already passed the total number of cases reported in the past two seasons for Broome County, and it's only February. "Really, the bottom line is, there is still likely many more weeks to go". "I will have some additional trainings that are planned in the next few weeks", she explained. "However, we are by no means out of the woods".
Flu deaths and hospitalizations are surging in one of the most severe flu seasons in recent memory. Since September, 335 lab-confirmed hospitalizations have occurred in that area.
The CDC expects the 2017-2018 flu epidemic to be the most deadly since the 2009-2010 that killed 284,000 people worldwide and 657 Californians.
The CDC has received reports of antiviral drug shortages in some places, Schuchat said.
Tamiflu, the prescription medication that doctors prescribe patients, to treat or prevent the flu, has been running low nationwide, but, it's all about planning, pharmacists say. Health officials are encouraging people to get a flu shot.
While it is still possible to catch the flu if a person receives the flu vaccine, Javanbakht said those who are vaccinated and fall ill tend to be ill for a shorter amount of time and experience less extreme symptoms. "Both of those seasons were seasons where the strain H3N2 was the predominant strain, a strain that's going to be associated with more cases and it's going to be associated with more hospitalizations, and it is associated with more deaths". This year's vaccine is available in the trivalent and quadrivalent forms.
But it is preventing only 10 to 20 per cent of infections caused by the dominant H3N2 strain affecting Canadians.
Every flu season is made up of varying strains of the virus.
Pascucilla said it is more important than ever that "we are able to provide residents along the shoreline as many opportunities to receive the flu vaccine". The CDC recommends the flu vaccine for everyone ages 6 months and older. "This is consistent with our concerns". The 2014-15 flu season was considered "moderately severe" by the CDC and has been used as a comparison to the current season.
She said the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control "reported a mid-season estimate of influenza vaccine effectiveness at 42 per cent overall". "This season is turning out to be a particularly challenging one".