Flu Season off to a fast start

State epidemiologist Alfred DeMaria

National influenza immunization week hits just as flu cases are beginning to increase in the Tri-State.

"Schnucks Pharmacies make it easy for patients to get vaccinated", said Senior Director of Pharmacy Operations Bob Buganski.

The Northern Kentucky Health Department is tracking flu cases.

Cases of influenza have begun to rise, with 53 confirmed cases over the two-week period ending November 25, compared with 33 over the previous two weeks. Last winter there were none at this time.

The Journal noted that another factor in the vaccine's ineffectiveness this year is the way it's made, using eggs to grow the strains.

Conover said he has seen between 50 and 100 cases of the flu so far this season with the first being in September.

State epidemiologist Alfred DeMaria
Credit Courtesy DR. MONICA BHAREL Credit Herald file

Caudle and Rite Aid certified immunizing pharmacist Chris Altman will host a special flu-focused Facebook Live event on Wednesday, Dec. 6 at 8 p.m. ET to answer questions about the flu, address common misconceptions and provide helpful tips on how to stay healthy throughout flu season.

While there are indicators in the southern hemisphere, what happens there is not necessarily a blueprint for what will happen in the U.S.

"I know 100% that if you don't get a flu vaccine you will have no protection", Burstein said.

The vaccination can help lessen the severity of the illness, which is important for children and people over the age of 50 with underlying health conditions, as these populations are more likely to suffer from flu complications like pneumonia.

"H3N2 produces roughly twice as many deaths as other types of the flu", says Dr. John Goldberg, Infectious Disease Specialist at Pinnacle Health.

National Influenza Immunization week runs from December 2 through December 9.

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