Published: Tue, December 12, 2017
Medicine | By Rogelio Lindsey

Saskatchewan influenza activity on the rise with experts urging flu vaccine

Saskatchewan influenza activity on the rise with experts urging flu vaccine

More than double the number of cases are being reported compared to this time previous year.

On average, past flu vaccines have been about 42 percent effective, though that number can range anywhere from 10 to 60 percent in a given year.

Health Commissioner Melissa Howell reminds everyone to maintain good health by washing hands regularly, covering coughs and sneezes, eating a balanced diet, exercising and getting the right amount of sleep.

From the time flu clinics opened across the province on October 23, there have been 250,520 doses of influenza vaccine administered as of December 2.

"Last year, we didn't see anything until nearly January and February". Doctors, she said, may prescribe anti-viral medication for those with higher-risk conditions.

However, doctors insist we can not underestimate the importance of "herd immunity", and that the shot may be more effective as lessening illness in those who do get sick. In each case, distribution of the flu vaccine begins about 7 months later.

Several areas throughout IL are experiencing heightened flu activity, and one preliminary report shows the flu vaccine may only be 10% effective. The main flu bug this season tends to cause more deaths and hospitalizations and vaccines tend not to work as well against this type. "Then, since it was new, we did not know if the H1N1 symptoms would be normal, or something more severe".

While Shelton also said it's too soon to tell about the flu season and the vaccine's effectiveness, she did note that there's concern over reports from Australia, which is now at the end of its flu season, about a severe outbreak.

"It can be lower if you're older or very young, but that still doesn't mean you shouldn't get vaccinated", Shahab said.

Flu numbers across the metro are seeing a spike, thanks in part to this year's flu vaccine simply not being as effective as in years past.

"I highly recommend the vaccine", Shelton said, noting that all the health district offices still have plenty of the vaccine available. This report also includes granular analysis of the market share, geographic regions and revenue forecasts and of the North America Flu Vaccine market. "Most people have no reaction at all, other than mild soreness in the arm where the shot was administered". Rigler said it takes about two weeks for the body to react to the killed virus in the vaccine to build up an immunity.

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