FRIDAY, March 29, 2019 (HealthDay Information) — Although flu season has in all probability peaked, beware: Influenza remains to be widespread in a lot of the US, federal well being officers mentioned Friday.
“This week exercise decreased slightly bit, however flu goes to be round for some time,” mentioned Lynnette Brammer, from the home influenza surveillance crew on the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention.
Making issues worse, the predominant pressure is influenza A H3N2, probably the most severe sort, and it is placing older People within the hospital, she mentioned.
How for much longer flu season will final depends upon how lengthy the H3N2 virus sticks round, and if influenza B viruses begin to unfold, Brammer mentioned. Proper now, B viruses are inflicting solely a small share of flu instances.
Although this yr’s flu hasn’t been as unhealthy as final yr’s, it is nonetheless been a extreme season, not the gentle one well being officers had hoped for. It’s going to nonetheless be weeks earlier than flu drops to ranges wanted for the CDC to declare the season over.
In different phrases, there’s nonetheless time to get a flu shot if you have not achieved so already, Brammer mentioned. “There’s nonetheless a profit from getting vaccinated.”
That is particularly essential should you’re in a high-risk group, such because the aged, she mentioned. Seniors are notably vulnerable to H3N2 and its issues, together with pneumonia.
The CDC recommends that everybody 6 months of age and older get vaccinated. There’s nonetheless loads of vaccine out there, Brammer mentioned.
And bear in mind: Even should you get the shot for this flu season, you will nonetheless must get vaccinated within the fall, she mentioned.
That is essential as a result of subsequent yr’s vaccine is completely different from this yr’s. Each influenza A strains — H3N2 and H1N1 — have mutated, and the brand new vaccine has been tweaked to deal with these adjustments, Brammer mentioned.
Each strains had been included this yr’s vaccine, however the H3N2 safety has been lower than hoped, in response to the CDC.
An underrated advantage of the vaccine is that even should you get sick, your flu can be milder than if you have not been vaccinated. A milder case can forestall issues like pneumonia that may be lethal, particularly to the very younger and really outdated.