Nationally, about 166 million doses of flu vaccine are projected to be available this season. "While vaccination offers the best protection we have against influenza, it's still possible that some people may become ill despite being vaccinated but their illness will be much milder".
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports "influenza activity" is ticking up across the southern half of the U.S., with one strain (H3N2) responsible for the majority of the deadliest, most unsafe cases reported so far.
"This year's flu is primarily of the H3N2 strain, and years with H3N2 tend to be particularly deadly, especially for the very young and elderly", the health website announced in a statement.
Earlier this week, County officials announced that more than 1,640 flu cases have been reported this season, compared to 451 cases reported at this time a year ago.
Four strains of Influenza are circulating at the present time but most of the attention has only been on the H3N2 predominant strain, representing about 70 percent of the patients.
The CDC added that elevated numbers of hospitalizations and positive laboratory tests have been reported in most states.
-It's easier than ever to get vaccinated.
Nationwide, nine children have died because of the flu through December 16. "Reports recommend getting vaccinated early, but getting one early or late is good to prevent it because we see cases of flu out through May".
Because it's a virus, antibiotics will not help, officials say. But it's hard to track exact numbers because only a certain percentage of people with flu symptoms go the hospital for testing.
In addition to taking the flu vaccine, it says, other measures can reduce or prevent the spread of influenza.
Symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue.
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