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Flu season facts and mythsThe

14 September 2018

The CDC thus recommends to the general public to get their flu shots well before the flu season begins this year. Ideally all should get their vaccines by the end of October, the federal health officials state.

"The 2017-2018 influenza season was a high severity season with high levels of outpatient clinic and emergency department visits for influenza-like illness (ILI), high influenza-related hospitalization rates, and elevated and geographically widespread influenza activity for an extended period", the CDC wrote in its summary of the 2017-2018 flu season. There were hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and around 180 children died from flu.

The CDC said it can't predict whether this season's vaccine will be a particularly good match for the circulating viruses, but experts say even if a particular batch of flu vaccine offers less-than-ideal protection, some protection is still better than none. According to the CDC, people who are at the highest risks of developing flu related complications include; children under five, seniors, pregnant women and individuals who suffer from chronic health issues (asthma, diabetes and heart diseases among others) that can be made more serious by the flu.

The CDC website statement reads, "Influenza is a potentially serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death". New strains develop that may be completely resistant to last year's vaccine.

"This year, the public will be better protected from flu than ever before, with at-risk groups being offered the most effective vaccine available and every member of NHS staff expected to get their jab".

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Influenza (also known as the flu) is the smartest virus on the planet.

The newly available "adjuvanted" vaccine is expected to significantly boost effectiveness by improving the body's immune response to the vaccine. Every year the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has to choose the strain of the flu virus that would be put into the flu shot. This comes from recommendations from the World Health Organization. There is a flu shot that protects against another influenza B strain in addition to the other three.

Fact #3 - The body can take up to two weeks to build the necessary antibodies to fight influenza.

The 2017-2018 season was dominated by influenza strain H3N2, which typically results in a more severe season. The CDC says about 80 percent of those children did not get the vaccination.

However, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advise all children between six months and eight years old to get the vaccine as soon as possible because they require two doses of the vaccine, to be administered 28 days apart. As such, children, adults, and older adults are recommended to get the flu vaccine.

Flu season facts and mythsThe