This Flu Season Could Be Much Worse Than Others, Health Officials Warn

This Flu Season Could Be Much Worse Than Others, Health Officials Warn

But they are expected to rise during its peak in February.

According to state health officials, since the start of the season - more than 1,500 Missourians are confirmed to have the flu.

Four states are reporting widespread outbreaks of the flu. So far a total of 671 cases statewide for the season, 20 of which were from Coconino County, and as you might expect reported cases are only a small percentage of the actual cases of the flu we see people suffering from within our community...

Doctors at St. Anthony's Medical Center say they saw only three flu cases at this time in 2016. That's a big jump from 379 at the same time past year.

A report published in The New England Journal of Medicine says this year's flu vaccine is only about 10% effective against the influenza A strain.

This season, only injectable flu vaccines are recommended.

"It can be due to a change in what's circulating in the human population, or a change in the vaccine that leads to a mismatch" between the virus and the vaccine, Hirsch said. Or the vaccine itself may mutate while it is being grown - currently, vaccines are grown in eggs, but many experts don't think that's ideal as the vaccine virus tends to undergo mutations to adapt to growing in an egg.

"Even if it may not fully protect you, there's no question it reduces the chance of very severe illness and hospitalization", Englender said. "The most important thing is still to get your flu vaccine".

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