Published: Wed, December 06, 2017
Medicine | By Brett Sutton

Could be the worst flu season

Could be the worst flu season

This year, the scientists may have gotten it wrong.

"Our pharmacists are on the frontlines of healthcare in the communities they serve, and when it comes to fighting the flu, as certified immunizers, they can be a patient's first line of defense", stated Jocelyn Konrad, Rite Aid executive vice president of pharmacy.

It's why he and others advise to not dismiss the flu shot. This year, it seems, the scientists may have gotten it wrong, according to the New England Journal of Medicine.

Most studies in the determine the effectiveness of a particular flu vaccine are done through observational studies, in which researchers compare the occurrence of flu illness in vaccinated people compared to unvaccinated people.

"Every year, there are deaths from influenza and pneumonia, and certainly, influenza is something to be concerned about", Sweeney said.

This week is National Influenza Vaccination Week, and the Comal County Office of Public Health is using the occasion to remind residents that flu shots are still available.

For the week ending December 2, there were 67 cases compared to 29 at the same time past year. A protein within the egg can modify the strain, making the vaccine less effective.

As of now, cases of the flu in Virginia are sporadic, and there has not been a local or widespread outbreak.

Other important habits that will help keep the disease from spreading is to wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

Cover - Cover your cough or sneeze with your arm or a disposable tissue.

Those most at risk include the very young, the very old and those with weakened immune systems.

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