Flu is here—and it’s a nasty one!
By Meredith Li-Vollmer
Public Health – Seattle & King County
Influenza is noticeably on the rise in King County, according the Public Health – Seattle & King County” sCommunicable Disease and Epidemiology unit.
Last week, the number of laboratory tests for flu rose sharply and a handful of schools, daycare programs, and long-term care facilities reported flu outbreaks.
A severe flu forecast
The flu season has only just begun, but the CDC is finding that so far, seasonal influenza A H3N2 viruses have been the most common flu viruses circulating. What’s the significance? In flu seasons in which H3N2 viruses predominate, there often are more severe flu illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths.
On top of that, roughly half of the H3N2 viruses that the CDC analyzed to date are drift variants: viruses with genetic changes that make them different from this season’s vaccine virus. This means the vaccine’s ability to protect against those viruses may be reduced.
So should you still get this year’s flu vaccine? Continue reading