(WSPA) – This year’s flu season ranks among the most severe in recent years.
Influenza activity has increased and is now widespread in 49 states, all except Hawaii.
The Centers for Disease Control released numbers showing nearly 75,000 laboratory confirmed cases of the flu this month alone.
The coughing, sneezing and the runny nose are all to be expected this time of year.
The vaccine doctors are using this year is different from the virus, so fighting the flu might be up to you.
Dr. Diana Curran is the Medical Director of the Henderson County Health Department.
“This year unfortunately our flu strain that is most common right now, is not covered in this years vaccine.”
So, even though you have your flu shot, it may not be able to help you fight the virus this year.
Curran said even this year, the vaccine is still the first line of defense.
“The Centers for Disease Control makes their best guess about which strain will be coming this year. and they do a lot of scientific background on that but not every year is it a good guess,” Curran said.
To date, the CDC reports nationwide that 30 children are dead because of flu-related illnesses. In North Carolina, at least 42 deaths are said to be connected to the flu virus.
While the flu is easy to spread, it is also possible to fight.
Curran said, “so if you do become sick stay home be away from others so that you don’t spread it. I would say that’s the hardest part for most people.”
It’s always best to get the flu shot before you get sick, especially children, the elderly and pregnant women.
It takes about two weeks before your immune system gets a good response.
“We suspect that this year, because the match is not as good, we may have more deaths from the flu. But the strain that’s going around is no more severe than other flu viruses, it’s just that were not as well protected,” Curran said.