Medical experts believe that the flu season is going to get worse as we enter a new year. It is already being classified as being moderately severe. The reason why the flu is going to get worse has to do with several factors. One of these is the abnormally low temperatures that have gripped the country for many days to several weeks depending on the location. A vaccine that has been less effective is also to blame for the worsening influenza season as well.
These two conditions set the stage for a possibly severe flu season. The good news is that peak influenza virus contamination has already passed. The New Year’s travel and holiday season has passed as have major family gatherings. This is when a lot of viruses such as influenza are spread around. Still, there are major concerns that healthcare experts and public health officials have.
Most of the flu infections this year are of the H3N2 variety. This type of flu virus can be very deadly to very young people and the elderly. Death rates for these two ages are significantly higher than from other versions of the flu.
Experts believe that this kind of flu originated from Australia. It has even been nicknamed “Killer Aussie Flu” due to the damaging effects in had in that country. Australian officials said that the H3N2 flu virus hit Australia particularly hard at its winter season. With summer in Australia now and winter in the United States, the virus is expected to wreak havoc here in the USA. The seasons in Australia and the United States are reversed, which explains why outbreaks occur during different months in places like Australia and the USA.
One of the reasons Australia was so badly hit by the H3N2 flu virus was because flu shots are only generally done to people working in the healthcare field or who are vulnerable to the virus. In the United States, it is suggested that everybody gets a flu shot. This is why the impact of the flu has been less severe than in Australia so far.
The current flu shot is only said to be about 10% effective in preventing getting sick from the flu. It will however almost certainly prevent the most serious complications from the flu such as getting pneumonia which can lead to death. While the flu shot may not prevent you from getting sick, it can prevent serious illness, which is why medical doctors are still advising people to get flu shots. With a worsening flu season forecast, experts are also urging people who have not yet gotten flu shots to get one to be safe.