Health experts: This year's flu vaccine only 10% effective

This actual sneeze shows how far droplets travel transporting the flu virus to counters or doorknobs. Credit CDC  James Gathany

This actual sneeze shows how far droplets travel transporting the flu virus to counters or doorknobs. Credit CDC James Gathany

By getting a shot of inactive flu strains, the body builds an immunity towards the strain which helps fight off the sickness. "During the holidays families and friends will gather, which increases the potential for exposure to the flu virus".

'We don't know what's going to happen but there's a chance we could have a season similar to Australia, ' Dr. Daniel Jernigan, influenza chief at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told The Associated Press. First, the CDC reports that available vaccines have been updated to better match circulating viruses.

"We're still in the early stages, but that doesn't mean people shouldn't get a flu shot", said state Department of Health spokesperson Kim Deti.

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It takes about two weeks for good protection to kick in. Vaccine supplies are considered plentiful at this time, but people are urged to call their providers or pharmacies to check on availability. A second goal of the observance week is to communicate to those who are at the highest risk of complications if they acquire the flu. Their findings are based on what made people sick in the southern hemisphere's most recent flu season.

CDC recommends that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October, if possible.

Unfortunately, the flu vaccine available in the United States this year was only 10 percent effective in preventing illness from H3N2.

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Campbell County began reporting flu cases in September and October, which is earlier than a year ago, Public Health Director Jane Glaser said. Per the Navarro Regional Hospital Quality Director, Cassie Carter, RN, symptoms of the flu most often include: fever, chills, cough, sore throat, muscle ache and fatigue. Flu can be very contagious.

Glaser isn't sure why there were so many cases of the flu here last season, but said severity fluctuates from year to year.

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