The Australian government in September reported there had been two-and-a-half times the number of confirmed cases this year when compared to the same period last year. While the weather lately may not have felt like flu season, it is here say officials. The only exclusions are for people who have documented severe reactions to prior vaccinations.
A year ago 70% of people over the age of 65 had their jab, but only 45.8% of adults and children with long-term health conditions were vaccinated.
Upping the concern, though, is that numerous cases seen so far this year are from the H3N2 strain of the virus.
"It's extremely important that people get vaccinated", said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer.
Nationwide, last flu season flu activity peaked in mid-March, according to the Centers for Disease Control. It varies every year. If they receive their prescriptions under the Newfoundland and Labrador Prescription Drug Program (NLPDP), they can get their flu shot for free at participating pharmacies. Wash your hands frequently, cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough, and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth as germs spread easily that way. Health officials say San Diego has already reported 203 laboratory-confirmed flu cases this season, whereas a year ago at this time, there were only 60 confirmed flu cases. The seasonal quadrivalent vaccine also includes influenza B vaccine virus, a B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus (Yamagata lineage).
The quadrivalent vaccines are created to protect against the already mentioned viruses plus an additional B virus.
"I have not gotten my flu vaccines".
The hope is that it will create a safety net around those children in the hospital who have already dealt with health issues and carry on to protect them after they get out of the hospital. By following this policy, you will help to protect the people you are visiting from getting a potentially serious illness.
"It's not 100 per cent, but certainly it decreases not only your chance of getting influenza [and spreading it] ... but it also decreases your risk of being hospitalized".
An 86-year-old San Diego man who had not been vaccinated died on October 1.
Another way of protecting vulnerable adults is to vaccinate children, who are "super-spreaders" of the virus.
According to CDC figures, only ten states have 50-55 percent immunization, which might explain the reason why flu cases have tripled this season.
Vaccination rates improved nationally past year, according to CDC data.