As of this week, there have been 2,976 cases of flu reported compared to 347 for the same time period in 2016, which is a 758 percent increase in flu activity. Australia uses the same type of vaccine and saw high numbers of cases and hospitalizations during their flu season.
A few months back, the first warnings arrived about the H3N2 virus (aka the "Aussie Flu") - which saw both Australia and New Zealand hit with their worst outbreaks on record - and that the virus would most likely make it to the United Kingdom, becoming the worst flu season on record.
Area health specialists say it's too soon to say how bad this year's flu season will be.
Australian flu can develop over a few hours and includes a high temperature, sore muscles, dry cough, headache and sore throat.
According to CDC experts, every year flu viruses mutate and sometimes that mutation is fast.
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Dr Lorraine Doherty of the PHA: "Everyone who is eligible to be vaccinated against flu should see it as a positive step in protecting their health and the health of others around them". Moreover, most viruses separated from patient tissue samples have been related to the Yamagata lineage, not the Victoria lineage in vaccines being used this season.
Wilson said at the hospital, all employees are required to get the vaccine, especially since the population they serve are already immunocompromised.
The restrictions have been put in place to help minimise the risk of flu spreading further in the hospital and to protect patients and staff.
The virus targeted by the flu vaccines supplied for this season do not match the dominant virus that is circulating, reducing their efficacy, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said yesterday.
"What that number doesn't tell you is if you get the flu, it may be milder and a shorter course than it would be". So if the flu is persisting, it's a good indication to seek medical help. Even though the vaccine is not ideal, and is not a guarantee against all flu-like illnesses, what is true is that it will offer protection and it will lessen the course of the disease, even if you or your child contract influenza.
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Influenza season occurs primarily from October through May, often peaking in February.
State Sen. Brownie Carson, D-Brunswick, said he's concerned that ME still doesn't have enough public health nurses on hand if a flu epidemic were to break out this season.
The flu virus has spread among hundreds of New Yorkers statewide recently, prompting health officials to require unvaccinated health care workers to wear surgical masks. Avoid people who appear to be sick.
You can also get the flu shot at Rite-Aid or Kinney Drugs for about $38 if you have to pay out of pocket, but most insurances cover it.
You can infect others beginning one day before you get sick to about five to seven days after developing symptoms.
Follow the New Year around the world
Notably, several celebrations are going across the world to give a cheerful goodbye to 2017 and welcome 2018 wholeheartedly. Spectacular fireworks have lit up the skies in Hong Kong, Australia and elsewhere in Asia as revellers rang in 2018.