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Flu season 2008 is not over yet
|Posted April 30, 2008|
Though flu season officially started in November and was supposed to end in March, it is not over.
According to health officials this year's flu season has been one of the worst in four years.
Katrina Engh, a ULV junior public affairs major who had the flu this year, said she usually gets the flu shot but missed the dates to get one.
The U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that the vaccine is usually 70 percent to 80 percent effective. This year the vaccine was only 44 percent effective.
Each year, health officials formulate a vaccine or strain against the viruses that mutate with different components of “A” and “B” Influenza that they think will be circulating.
In some people, the flu can cause serious complications, including bacterial pneumonia, dehydration and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma or diabetes.
The flu usually spread from person to person known as the “Spanish Flu” Influenza Pandemic, is the most common flu when infection can be from a cough or sneeze. Touching something with the influenza virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose or eyes may infect people.
Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, Dr. Anthony Fauci said influenza has not been treated with the degree of medical attention that the disease warrants.
Another reason the vaccines were not as effective this year, was that, the research did not get the support it needed federally, commercially or publicly.
Lacking a strong public support for the seasonal flu vaccine and a reliable market, flu vaccine manufacturers had no intentions to improve on the complex egg-based production technology that has been used since the 1950s.
Student Health Services Director, Cynthia Denne said that many may think that they do not need the vaccine next year and will take their chances.
“Even though many say that the flu shot did not work for them, I am still going to continue getting it every year just to be safe,” Engh said.
A flu shot can greatly lower your chance of getting the flu.
The best time to get the shot is from the middle of October to the middle of November, because most people get the flu in the winter.
Jennifer Kitzmann can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.