The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently declared a flu epidemic and expects this year to be a particularly severe flu season, reported WSBTV.
The flu is widespread in 43 states with high activity reported in 29 states, according to the CDC. Most of the high activity areas are concentrated in the Midwest and Southeast. High flu activity has also been reported in Puerto Rico.
A mutated virus is to blame for the horrible flu season. Researchers predict which flu strains will be prevalent in the coming season and create a vaccine in advance to prevent those strains. The predicted H3N2 virus mutated after production of this year’s vaccine and caused it to be less effective. Because of the mutated virus, the current flu vaccine is only 23 percent effective, according to the Associated Press.
The flu spread is especially dangerous for more vulnerable members of society, including children and the elderly. As of December 31, a total of 21 children from 11 states have died as a result of flu-related complications.
Healthcare professionals are adamant that people should get the flu shot. Although it is not as effective as expected, CDC medical officer Dr. Michael Jhung advises that the vaccine will still provide some protection.
Michelle-Lee Moore, a pediatric nurse with Shawnee County Health Agency advises that, “… getting a flu shot is the best way to reduce seasonal flu and spreading it to others.”
Johns Hopkins reminds adults that by getting the vaccine, they are not only protecting themselves, but they are also helping to protect children and the elderly from the flu.
The vaccine injury lawyers at Anapol Schwartz urge that all patients follow their doctor’s suggestions regarding the flu vaccine and ask that everyone do their part in keeping society safe from the flu.
David Carney joined Philadelphia, PA firm, Anapol, Schwartz, Weiss, Cohan, Feldman & Smalley, P.C. in September 2010. He focuses his practice in medical malpractice, products liability, premises liability, motor vehicle accidents, dram shop, vaccine injury compensation, mass torts, class actions, asbestos and mesothelioma and other personal injury matters.