It's the time of year again. The influenza season, like the winter temperature, is above us. The recent weekly influenza…
It’s the time of year again.
The influenza season, like the winter temperature, is above us.
The recent weekly influenza report from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health says that the rate of “flu-like diseases” has increased only slightly in the state so far in October, but officials again issue calls on residents to have an influenza virus in order to prepare oneself.
Last year Massachusetts, like The rest of the country saw a swollen flu season .
David Hooper, Head of the Infection Control Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, told Boston.com that the hospital saw a record breaking number of influenza cases last year.
“We have kept hospital-related data for 15 years and last year it was the most trafficier in terms of the number of influenza cases we’ve seen in record,” he said.
We talked to Hooper to learn more about what residents of the Bay State should expect for the flu season 2018-2019.
While the state can get some reports on “flu-like disease” said the Hooper season should not be fully operational until early January.
“An early season is often December,” he said. “The regular season really takes up around the year’s first year after the holiday.”
Last year the season went to an early 1965s early 19659009 in Massachusetts.
According to Hooper, there are several factors that have contributed to the severity of last year’s season. The predominant strain of the virus that circulates, H3N2, tends to cause more serious illnesses and a difficult season, and the vaccine was not so closely matched with the disease that had been hoped.
“It’s a constant problem with the best guess you can make about which strains will dominate based on Southern Hemisphere data and most of the vaccine production must start well before the flu season,” Hooper says.
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement that the agency involved in developing the flu vaccine learned from last year’s question with the vaccine.
“We have some confidence, based on influenza’s patterns that are now circulating in the south the hemisphere that influenza strains chosen for this year’s US seasonal influenza vaccine should offer the Americans good protection, “he said.
The MGH doctor said there are no indications so far about how severe the flu season will be this year in the United States.
It’s predictably unpredictable, so it’s hard to say, “said Hooper.” Sometimes after a very big flu season, you have a lighter flu ng. But again, it’s not really reliable enough that you can go to the bank with it. “
Even if a vaccine does not have a good year against the flu, it’s still the best protection against getting the disease difficult and preventing hospital stays, especially for people who have underlying conditions those at higher risk, Hooper said.
“Get your flu shot, first and foremost and maybe even second and third,” he said. “Then all other things you can do like your mother said you should do Cover your cough and wash your hands and that kind of thing is important to reduce the likelihood of fluctuation between and among people are the most important things. “
If you experience flu symptoms that include fever, cough, muscle ulcer and sore throat, Hooper told you to contact your doctor, especially if you have an underlying medical condition that puts you  at higher risk for complications from the disease.
“There are some therapies that can be used in such circumstances, so it’s important that you only contact your doctor, especially for people with underlying diseases that put them at risk for worse diseases. “