If you have yet to get your flu shot, it’s not too late, says CDC, which is urging citizens “to take every advantage that you can to protect yourself” from what officials are calling one of the most severe flu seasons in years.
The dominant strain this flu season, influenza A (H3N2), is present in every state, and there is severe flu activity in 32 states, CDC reports. The elderly and young children are most at risk of severe disease or death.
In North Carolina alone, 42 adults have already died from the flu this season, CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald said in a recent interview with Reuters . She added that of the 30 children throughout the country who have died from the flu so far this season, about 85% had not been vaccinated.
“Please get your children vaccinated,” Fitzgerald told Reuters.
The vaccine is estimated to be only about 30% effective against the H3N2 strain. However, CDC leadership said the vaccine has been shown in studies to reduce severity and duration if people do become infected.
And while you’re at it, Fitzgerald said, take other precautions such as washing hands frequently and steering clear of others who are sick.
This, of course, goes without saying for healthcare workers, who will see their fair share of flu patients walk through their doors the rest of this season.