Flu season hits Massachusetts early amid concerns over vaccine’s effectiveness

Flu season hits Massachusetts early amid concerns over vaccine's effectiveness

The flu season is off to an early begin in Massachusetts this yr amid mounting concern that the flu vaccination may not be efficient towards probably the most dominant pressure.

The state has seen a “very speedy enhance” in influenza-like sickness and a surge in confirmed flu circumstances, the state’s public well being commissioner Monica Bharel mentioned in an announcement Tuesday. Medical specialists wrote final week in The New England Journal of Drugs that there’s “mounting concern” concerning the report degree of flu in Australia after reviews emerged that the vaccine there was solely 10 % efficient towards the dominant H3N2 pressure. The American flu vaccine makes use of the identical composition, indicating doable low vaccine effectiveness and a equally extreme flu season.

“Nevertheless imperfect, although, present influenza vaccines stay a precious public well being software, and it’s all the time higher to get vaccinated than to not get vaccinated,” the authors wrote.

The Massachusetts Division of Public Well being nonetheless recommends getting vaccinated even in January or later from a major care supplier, a neighborhood pharmacy, or different areas utilizing vaccinefinder.org.

The flu season usually doesn’t peak till January, February or March. Reported situations of influenza-like sickness reported in Massachusetts for the 2017-2018 season are outpacing the previous two years, in response to information from the division.

—Massachusetts Division of Public Well being

The division recommends individuals get the flu vaccine as quickly as doable, wash their fingers completely and often, cowl coughs and sneezes, keep house when sick with fever and cough or sore throat, and speak to a well being care supplier in the event that they suppose they’ve the flu.

Widespread flu signs embrace a fever accompanied by a cough or sore throat, and might final a number of days as much as every week or extra.

Massachusetts is considered one of 4 states with widespread influenza exercise, the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention mentioned in its most up-to-date weekly report. The others are Georgia, Louisiana, and Oklahoma.