This year's vaccine 72% effective at preventing flu, scientists say

Health officials encourage Albertans to get their 'very effective' flu shot

Further, the Center for Disease Control shows that last flu season, stretching from fall 2017 into spring 2018, almost 200 deaths in Kansas were directly linked to the flu. Results are shared with the World Health Organization (WHO) to help determine how to formulate the flu vaccine for the following season.

Infants, young children, pregnant women, adults 65 and older, and those with medical conditions including immunocompromised individuals are especially at risk for a severe case of influenza. Vermont and New Hampshire are not seeing that many cases but the numbers are growing.

"It's hard to predict, but we had two back-to-back H3N2 epidemics from 2016 to 2018", she says.

Skowronski says last season's flu shot was less than 20 per cent effective in preventing Canadians from getting sick during what turned out to be an H3N2-dominant epidemic. While such a good match doesn't guarantee that this year's flu vaccine will be effective, it is a very good sign.

"We won't have the full picture until end of season, but we can already tell more people have received a vaccine in Iowa", she said. Even if you do get flu, those who are vaccinated greatly reduce their risk of flu-related complications that can lead to hospitalization or death.

Many people thought the flu season was over, however, it was never officially announced as being over and Waters said a second wave of the H1N1 influenza strain hit about three weeks ago. People tend to get vaccinated more when they develop a habit of doing so. The immune system response can also trigger fever and cause muscle or body aches.

The BCCDC reminds people that general hygiene practices such as washing your hands, coughing and sneezing into your elbow, and refraining from touching your face, are also steps that can minimize sickness.

More people have remained healthier and avoided infection from a flu virus in the 2018-19 influenza season thus far compared to the previous season - which ultimately resulted in more than 250 deaths and almost 1,900 hospitalizations by its end - according to the latest report from the Iowa Department of Public Health.

Of the 48 people tested in December 2018, 11 were positive for the flu.

Officials from the Connecticut State Health Department announced this week that the flu is spreading rapidly throughout the state, with some hospitals reportedly limiting visitation to prevent the spread of the virus.

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