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What You Need To Know Ahead Of This Year’s Flu Season

A surge in influenza cases in Australia and at least three deaths in the U.S. in recent weeks have some physicians worried that this year’s flu season could be a bad one for Americans.

Though public health officials say they don’t know yet whether the 2019-2020 season will be worse than usual, they are still urging people to get their flu vaccines before it kicks into high gear. Australia, which is just getting over its flu season, saw a surge in cases with the H3N2 strain.

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Health agencies in Riverside County, California, Los Angeles County and Marion County, Indiana, have reported their first flu-related deaths of the 2019-2020 season. Nevada, Kentucky and Louisiana have also reported flu activity, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spokesman Scott Pauley said.

“A death so early in the flu season suggests this year may be worse than usual,” Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Riverside County public health officer, warned in a September news release announcing the fatality there.

The U.S. flu season is just beginning and can last through May. Peak infections generally hit between December and February, according to the CDC. It takes about two weeks for the vaccine to build an immunity to the disease.

Predicting the duration and size of the outbreak isn’t an exact science.

“Flu season is never totally predictable,” said Dr. Michael Ben-Aderet, associate director of Hospital Epidemiology at Los Angeles’ Cedars-Sinai hospital. Changes in the flu virus, environment and even “some factors we honestly don’t understand” can contribute to how the flu season hits nations, he added.

Pauley agreed.

“It’s still too early to tell what this flu season might be like,” he said in an email. “The Australian season was bad, but the numbers were somewhat inflated by the fact that the season started earlier than normal and that caused a significant increase in testing.”

The last severe U.S. flu season was the 2017-2018 season with an estimated 48.8 million people falling ill and 79,400 deaths, according to the CDC. Rough estimates from the CDC show that last year, there were 37.4 million to 42.9 million people who got the flu and 36,400 to 61,200 deaths.

“People can protect themselves by getting vaccinated,” Ben-Aderet said. “Getting vaccinated is important not only for ourselves, but for the people around us.”

This year’s flu shot, the 2019-20 U.S. trivalent influenza vaccine, was updated based off the Southern Hemisphere’s flu season and other increased flu activity.

For people who are concerned the influenza vaccine gives them the flu, Ben-Aderet said it’s a “common misconception.”

“There’s no risk of getting the flu from the flu shot,” he said, since the vaccine is composed of inactivated strains. Most people will just walk away with a sore arm. For people who do end up sniffling the next day, chances are they’ve caught one of the other respiratory viruses that pop up in the season.

Overall, Ben-Aderet stressed that people are much better off getting the flu shot than not.

The CDC recommends everyone over the age of 6 months to get vaccinated each year, with rare exceptions. There are different types of influenza vaccines, so what may work for a pregnant woman may not be the best bet for someone over 65. The CDC recommends talking over options with your doctor.

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  1. This is utter nonsense. There are better ways to protect oneself against the flu. It’s all about diet and hygiene. I used to get a flu shot every year followed by a case of the flu. I stopped getting them 33 years ago and haven’t had the flu again.

  2. Every year it’s the same thing! “Experts fear flu could be more deadly this year”. And every year near the end of flu season they announce “The vaccine wasn’t as effective as hoped” If you’ve bought into this scam, I’ve got some ocean front property in Nebraska I’d like to sell you!
    I just noticed an article talking about how the swine flu is still active and spreading. Anyone remember the panic they tried to start about that one? Notice that they are no longer pushing that vaccine? That’s because the vaccine caused more harm than any good it was supposed to do.

  3. Yes, if you don’t search for information about this subject on the most popular search engines, which heavily censor natural cures, the real junk/fraud science behind vaccines, global warming, M e r k being sued over falsifying the data on the efficacy of the MMR vaccine, the oral polio vaccine causing polio (called non-polio acute flaccid paralysis), the majority of the peoples in the several “vaccine preventable” disease outbreaks, like at Disneyland, being up to date on their vaccines, the fact that people recently vaccinated shed the virus and can infect others, blaming non-vaccinated people for outbreaks….just a start. Use duckduckgo, qwant, searx, good gopher, to search. I use duckduckgo and the results are so incredibly different than G searches. Theirs is one narrative and no dissenting opinions to be found. It’s big Pharma agenda, well several agendas being perpetuated by MSM and those behind it. We never get the flu as severely now as when we got the shot, years ago. My oldest is vaccinated, though not for everything, the new ones I refused. My twins born 8 years later are not and don’t have the asthma, eczema, other chronic health issues or autism my oldest has. As a vet tech, I’ve seen plenty horrible side effects from vaccines which are safer than human ones, since they took the dangerous adjuvents out. But I’ve also seen too many vaccine site carcinomas to believe they’re safe. Last I looked, on the CDC website, their was an obscure study buried about a repeated vaccine syndrome. I’ll look again and take a screen shot if it’s still there. The Simian virus 40 report from that site was taken down. I have the screen shots though.

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