Flu can be a contagious, viral illness that will causes mild to severe symptoms that will, in rare cases, can lead to death. a few children have died, in addition to yet another 566 flu-related hospitalizations have occurred as of November 25.
“Flu can be increasing. We’re seeing a pretty steep increase in influenza activity across the US nevertheless especially inside South,” said Brendan Flannery, a co-author of the brand-new report in addition to an epidemiologist inside CDC’s flu division.
Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts in addition to Oklahoma reported widespread activity during the week ended November 25, the report stated.
“We recommend that will for everyone 6 months in addition to older, if you haven’t received your vaccine yet, at This specific point can be the time to get This specific,” said Shannon Stokley, an associate director for science inside immunization services division at the CDC.
Despite This specific guidance, fewer than half of Americans have received a jab This specific season. Common concerns focus on efficacy of the vaccine in addition to side effects.
“Among the general population, about 39% have received the vaccine,” said Stokley, co-author of a brand-new CDC report that will canvased people by phone in addition to internet in early November.
However, as Dr. Tanya Altmann, a pediatrician in addition to spokeswoman for the American Academy of Pediatrics, pointed out, the flu has potentially serious complications such as pneumonia, bronchitis in addition to sinus in addition to ear infections.
“Anything that will you can do to help prevent your family by getting the flu can be very beneficial,” said Altmann, who was not involved inside CDC research. Her advice includes the CDC recommendation to get a flu shot, nevertheless she also adheres to low-tech techniques of contagious disease prevention: “Great hand-washing techniques, teaching kids not to share their germs, staying home when you’re sick in addition to disinfecting common surfaces,” she said.
Infants in addition to pregnant women, particularly those inside second in addition to third trimesters, are most vulnerable to developing complications, according to the CDC.
“We have some evidence that will the vaccination protects the woman by influenza herself, in addition to This specific can protect the infant inside six months of life by getting influenza before we are able to vaccinate the infant,” Flannery said. Both the CDC in addition to the American College of Obstetricians in addition to Gynecologists recommend flu shots for all women who are or will be pregnant during the flu season.
Many mothers-to-be, though, have not heeded This specific advice.
Are pregnant women getting ‘appropriate’ care?
More than a quarter of pregnant women reported that will medical staff did not recommend or offer a flu shot.
“This specific makes me a little sad that will people across the country — especially pregnant women — may not be getting the recommended in addition to appropriate health care,” Altmann said.
Coverage was highest for pregnant women whose doctors recommended in addition to offered the vaccine: Just over half of women in This specific category had received a shot.
Side effects in addition to vaccine efficacy
Among health care workers who declined the vaccine, the most common reason can be fear of experiencing side effects or getting sick by the vaccine.
Not everyone agrees that will the flu shot can be one of the best ways to protect families in addition to prevent serious complications, including Dr. Erika Schwartz, an internist in addition to founder of a medical practice in brand-new York City that will focuses on wellness in addition to disease prevention.
Schwartz, who was not involved inside CDC reports, said some of her patients take the flu shot, nevertheless others do not.
“Some patients believe the possible side effects outweigh the positives that will they get by prevention,” she said. Some patients believe they can protect themselves by boosting their immune systems, eating well in addition to generating sure they sleep better, she said.
“Everybody’s risk can be different,” Schwartz said. Flannery said highest-risk patients are the elderly, pregnant women in addition to infants, in addition to people who have underlying conditions, such as lung or heart conditions.
Flannery explained that will the journal article looked at Australia’s most recent flu season in addition to highlights the low vaccine effectiveness against one type of influenza: the H3N2 strain predominating inside US today. The article’s authors also noted that will “the vaccine prevented about a third of all illness by all of the types of flu,” Flannery said. “There’s still some protection against all flu illness in Australia last season.
“We do see a predominance of the H3N2 virus that will was common last season,” Flannery said. “H3N2 seasons have been more severe in terms of hospitalization in addition to death, especially inside elderly in addition to young children; that will’s a concern.”
Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University, said that will vaccine effectiveness can be not a simple measure.
“When we measure vaccine effectiveness, that will’s effectiveness against protecting against disease completely,” said Schaffner, who was not involved inside CDC research, though he can be a liaison representative of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which develops recommendations on the use of vaccines for the CDC.
“What’s not measured can be that will, even if you get the flu in spite of the vaccine, your flu case can be likely to be milder; you’re less likely to contain the complications of pneumonia, having to be hospitalized in addition to dying,” he said.