New flu vaccine has local doctors hopeful for a better flu season

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The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says last year had the highest flu death toll in at least four decades as roughly 80,000 people died from the flu. 

Tri-State Dr. David Schultz says, “Last year was a very rough flu season because last year we had some resistant strains develop a flu and it made it more difficult to treat and not only that some of the folks that were vaccinated for flu last year didn’t have adequate immunization status when flu finally hit.”

Dr. Schultz says the CDC changed the vaccine for this year, and explains there are early indications this vaccine will be much more effective than years past. 

“The A strain component was adjusted somewhat but they actually replaced the B strain that they had last year,” Dr. Schultz says. 

Dr. Schultz says vaccinations take about two weeks take effect, and since flu season starts in mid to late January, vaccinations are probably something Tri-Staters should start thinking about. 

“The peak concentration of the flu is about three months after vaccination so October into early November is the perfect time to get your flu vaccination,” Dr. Schultz says. 

If you’re over 65-years-old there is a stronger vaccination for you. 

Dr. Schultz reminds Tri-Staters children are more contagious, and older people do not have a strong immune response against the flu. 

There are ways to avoid the flu by staying hydrated, washing you hands, and if you are sick avoid public places.

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(This story was originally published September 29, 2018)

 

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