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Flu season is spreading quickly

Hollywood, MD- While many of us are enjoying the extra time with our families and our new holiday gifts, unfortunately, for many people the celebration was cut short due to the flu.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the United States is entering peak flu season. Flu season is starting much earlier than usual and it’s expected to be a nasty one.

Twenty-three states are already reporting high flu activity. Maryland’s Department of Health is reporting widespread flu activity. Since Oct. 1, the CDC is reporting more than 13,000 cases of the flu—that’s six times the number as the same time last year.

Medical experts in this country are concerned because the same flu strain that’s running rampant here in America is the same strain that devastated Australia this year.

Australia had its most severe flu season in flu years—and the flu vaccine used down under is the same one used here. However, that flu shot is said to only be 10-percent effective because one of the flu strains mutated, making the vaccine ineffective.

Unfortunately, a vaccine takes months to make and doctors are looking to make changes to accommodate the mutated strain and quickly make a new vaccine.

The CDC still recommends getting the vaccine to provide a small amount of protection.

CDC flu forecasts say there’s a 30-percent chance the flu season will peak at the end of this month and a 60-percent change it will peak in late January. Typically, the flu season peaks near the end of February.

Contact Joy Shrum at j.shrum@thebaynet.com

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