California Hospital Seeing 'Record Season' For Flu Patients, Doctor Says

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Iowa also was bumped up to "moderate" flu activity, up from "minimal" the week before.

Despite what has been reported about the flu vaccine's effectiveness, the CDC says it believes the "U.S. VE estimates from last season are likely to be a better predictor of the flu vaccine benefits to expect this season against circulating H3N2 viruses in the United States".

Even though the flu shot may only be partially effective, the CDC still recommends getting it since some protection is better than none.

Family medicine nurse practitioner Sara Martin of Blessing Physician Services said she has seen a big increase of patients showing flu-like symptoms, as well as those testing positive for the flu.

The flu shot can be given to anyone over the age of six months, however, at Sharp as well as Walgreens and RiteAid (also administering the shots), vaccinations will be given only to ages 5 years and above.

If you've heard that the flu shot might actually give you the flu, rest assured that's impossible.

The CDC said flu season usually peaks between December and March and can often extend into May.

Although flu season can start as early as October, this year, as usual, it's shifted into high gear in late December and January. In the USA, it is 40 to 60 percent effective in an average season.

If you get the flu, see a doctor for an anti-viral prescription such as Tamiflu within 48 hours of symptoms (Tamiflu now has limited, if any, availability due to doctors prescribing it as a preventative measure which has depleted the supply for those who have the flu). Since it takes about two weeks for the vaccine to cause an adequate immune response to protect you, if you haven't gotten yours already, don't delay.

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If you are allergic to eggs, let your medical provider know that before you get the vaccine. Check the Vaccine Finder website for a location near you.

Anti-viral medication - like Tamiflu - will help lessen the symptoms of flu. And you need to deal with it.

There are specific parameters used to determine if the flu has reached epidemic levels.

Virtually no region of the country has been spared, as an imperfect vaccine and a long bout of cold, wintry weather are conspiring to turn this flu season into a severe one.

The flu is considered to be widespread nationally. In moderately severe years, as this one is being called, 56,000 could die.

Over the weekend the Brecon Beacans and Telford both reported cases of Aussie flu, leaving just the Dorset town and the City clear of the deadly virus.

The terrifying strain mainly affects older people, those with long-term health conditions, pregnant women and children.

"Even though it is less effective than previous years it still has an efficacy level of 10 per cent for influenza A and we do have other strains circulating so within our vaccines three or four strains are covered so you can be covered for other strains of the flu as well", Said Dr. Waters.

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