Flu Information for Parents and Families
Important information about this year's Flu
The Flu season is off to an early start in 2012-2013, the earliest since the 2003-2004 season. It is important to note that just because the season is off to an early start, it does not guarantee that it will be a worse than average year. Many factors determine how severe a Flu season will be:
- Circulating Strains-- Current testing shows that most of the Flu strains now are Influenza A H3N2. These strains appear to match well with the H3N2 component in this year’s vaccine. There are some Influenza B strains circulating, and about 2/3 of these match with the strain in the vaccine. We are not seeing any new pandemic-like strains thus far.
- Current weather-- Last year was a mild Flu year, likely due in part to the mild winter temperatures. This year has been a more typical cool, dry, early winter. Influenza is transmitted much more efficiently in the air when it is cool and dry.
- Number of people vaccinated-- The 2003-2004 Flu season was a very severe season. In addition to the early start that year, there were also new strains circulating and fewer people routinely received the vaccine. We now recommend Flu vaccine for everyone and we now give more Flu vaccine doses than ever.
It is not too late to get vaccinated
As stated earlier, the strains now circulating appear to be a good match for this year’s vaccine, so if you have not received it yet, go get it! See your doctor, visit your drugstore, or get it through your work if they offer it. This is particularly true if you or someone in your family is at high-risk for severe disease if infected with Flu.
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