and pharmacies are already reminding people that itís time
to get a flu shot, and the push may be more warranted this
particularly bad flu season was reported in Australia, which
has served as a rough measuring stick for the flu season that
follows in the Northern Hemisphere.
Jan. 1 to Aug. 19, 2016, the Australian health department
reported 37,266 total cases of influenza to the National
Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System. This August alone,
New South Wales reported 47,863 cases of the flu ó more than
3.5 times the number of cases (13,602) the most populous
Australian state reported in August of 2016, according to NSW
general, we get in our season what the Southern Hemisphere got
in the season immediately preceding us," Dr. Anthony
Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and
Infectious Diseases, told CNN.
Fauci also said just because the flu hit Australia hard does
not absolutely mean the same will happen in the United States,
according to the American Council on Science and Health.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it isnít
possible to accurately predict flu activity months or even
weeks in advance in multiple locations.
CDC does partner with health departments and other groups on a
U.S. influenza surveillance system designed to paint a broad
picture of flu activity in the country. It also works with
external research teams in an effort to provide "a
more-timely and forward-looking tool that health officials can
use to target medical interventions, inform earlier public
health actions, and allocate resources for communications,
disease prevention and control."
some general information on the flu, and some information
specific to the upcoming flu season in the United States.
INFLUENZA AND ITS SYMPTOMS?
viruses infect the lungs, nose and throat, and though the
effects can be mild for some people, they can also be deadly.
symptoms include fevers, sore throats, body and head aches,
chills and fatigue.
season varies, but generally begins in the United States
around October and runs through the following spring.
months when flu season has peaked the most in the U.S. over
the past 34 years are February (14 seasons), December (7),
March (6) and January (5).
KNOW FOR THE 2017-18 FLU SEASON
nasal spray flu vaccine (live attenuated influenza vaccine)
should not be used for the 2017-18 season. The CDC recommends
the flu shot (inactivated influenza vaccine) or the
recombinant influenza vaccine for the upcoming season.
maintains a list of its latest vaccination recommendations.
PEOPLE GET THE FLU?
is contagious. It is believed that droplets created when
someone with the flu coughs, sneezes or talks spread to the
mouths or noses of people close by, according to the CDC.
possible but less likely to get the flu from touching
something that has the virus on it and then touching your
eyes, mouth or nose.
MOSTLY AT RISK?
is susceptible, even people in good health. But certain people
ó including those over 65 years of age and people of any age
with existing illnesses or certain health conditions, however,
are considered at higher risk of serious complications from
the flu, per the CDC.
I DO TO PREVENT THE FLU?
recommends getting a flu vaccination each year.
recommends employing common sense ó staying away from people
who may be sick, covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing
and washing hands frequently.