It looks like this year we are off to an early, and possibly severe flu season.
“This is the earliest regular flu season we’ve had in nearly a decade, since the 2003-2004 flu season. That was an early and severe flu year,” said Thomas Frieden, the Director for the Centers for Disease Control.
Last year’s flu season was much more mild- mainly dues to a warm winter and a late start.
“While flu is always unpredictable, the early nature of the cases as well as the specific strains we’re seeing suggest that this could be a bad flu year,” said Frieden. “In summary, flu activity is up, vaccine is the best tool to protect against flu.”
The strain H3N2 that is going around this year is known for being associated with severe flu seasons.
“And what we’ve seen in past years is that H3 predominant years tend to be the worst years. And at least in 2003, also an earlier year.”
Luckily, there is a vaccine for most of the strains that the CDC is seeing. So do yourself and your friends a favor and get vaccinated.
Paul Hudson | Elite.