San Diego Flu Cases Triple Over 2016 Numbers

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Last year's flu vaccine attacked the strain of the flu that was most prominent. It is also possible to become infected by touching something with flu virus on it, and then touching your mouth or nose. Though people just getting their flu shot now may be a bit late for the first wave, they'll still be better prepared for that second round.

The health department said people can prevent transmitting the flu by covering their coughs, washing their hands frequently, and staying home when feeling ill.

"But we can not say we will go on to experience the kind of severe season Australia had, in part because we ourselves had a fairly severe epidemic due to H3N2 in 2016-17", Skowronski said. Across all the strains for which it was produced, the vaccine was about 33 percent effective in Australia.

Makers of the vaccine, though, say the strain of the flu that hit Australia may not be the same one that affects the USA this year.

H3N2 is a subtype of influenza A, viruses which tend to cause more severe disease in some segments of the population, specifically the elderly and young children.

Ninety percent of US states report some type of local, regional or widespread flu activity, the Chicago Tribune reported, citing the CDC. Receiving an annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect against this very serious disease.

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San Diego County has more than three times the number of confirmed flu cases than this time past year, the County Health and Human Services Agency announced Wednesday.

- A new published paper warns that this could be a bad flu season in the United States and the flu vaccine being used could have as low as a 10 percent effectiveness.

The faulty refrigerator stopped functioning properly October 6, its cooling mechanism running continuously instead of cycling on and off, causing temperatures to drop to -3.4 C, effectively destroying the potency of two of three types of flu vaccines it stored, both the conventional one and a high-dose variant used for those ages 65 and older. If the vaccine isn't a close match to the strain of the virus that's actually circulating once fall and winter arrive, it won't be as effective at stopping the illness.

The limited success of the current flu vaccine is a result of its guessing-game nature.

"We want to be a part of creating a highly effective, worldwide vaccine, that could really stop flu in its tracks", Creech said. "We're having about five times the amount of influenza B pickup during the autumn period in British Columbia than we typically have", she said.

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