Flu season predictions: Now is time to be vaccinated

(KPRC) – Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine study the pattern of the flu in the southern hemisphere to examine how it may affect us.

“There is every reason to expect that we could have a severe flu season this year,” said Dr. Robert Atmar, professor and interim chief of the section of infectious diseases at Baylor.

“This year I would predict that the major virus that will circulate is an influenza a H3N2. If that’s correct, that virus normally is associated with a lot more death, a lot more hospitalization,” Dr. Pedro Piedra, BCM pediatric infectious disease specialist, said.

There are currently very low levels of the flu, which means now is the time to be vaccinated.

The vaccine takes time to provide full protection and is recommended for everyone older than 6 months old, including pregnant women, who the shot is perfectly safe for. It protects them and will also pass their antibodies to the baby, which will help protect the newborns during the first six months of life.

Instead of the standard vaccine, it is recommended that people 65 years old and older get one of two vaccines: a higher dose vaccine or an adjuvant vaccine that is available for the first time in the United States this year. There is no preferred shot, just make sure to ask your doctor.

It is important to remember the nasal form of the vaccine is not recommended again this year because studies show it’s not effective against the most severe strain of flu.

Nothing is 100 percent, but getting the flu shot can severely lessen the symptoms and complications of the flu.

Flu season typically peaks between November and February.

Click here to read more. 

WHAT OTHERS ARE CLICKING ON RIGHT NOW

WFLA.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s