Is it too soon to tell how the flu vaccine stacks up against current strains? – GNT NEWS

We’re about halfway through October, and San Diego County health officials say 1,000 cases of the flu have already been reported. That’s a quarter of last year’s entire season.

Traditionally, flu vaccine effectiveness is about 40-60%, according to the CDC, a range that’s important to keep people out of the hospital. Despite the statistics, not everyone gets a chance.

Due to the flu outbreak at Patrick Henry High School and Del Norte High School, Deputy Health Director Cameron Kaiser told NBC 7 Thursday that the flu is here and it’s early.

It’s cold and flu season again, which means you might be wondering which virus is causing your symptoms. Here’s what you need to know.

For locals like Greg Liewald, he’s only gotten the flu shot once and doesn’t plan on getting it again.

“I don’t feel like it affected me in such a negative way,” Liewald said. “It’s such crap that the strain is correct anyway, I believe. At least that’s what I know. Or what I think I know, I guess. That’s probably better said.”

Edna Wright and Charles VanRickely say otherwise and believe it prevented them from contracting the virus.

“I’ve never gotten the flu, so it doesn’t mean it’s going to prevent me from getting the flu, but it certainly helps, so I believe in getting the flu shot,” Wright said.

But what about the vaccine itself? It takes months to produce, so each year the medical researchers who make the formula try to predict which strain will be more prominent during flu season. So how’s it going this year? It’s too early in flu season to tell, according to the county, but the best line of defense remains the same — not only getting a flu shot, but protecting yourself by washing your hands frequently, disinfecting surfaces and, if you’re sick, limiting contact with others.

For those who get it, the following symptoms are possible: fever, cough, sore throat and muscle aches.

“I haven’t gotten sick and I always feel like I’m protecting myself and that’s good,” Wright said.

VanRIckley says it gives him peace of mind, too.

“Just more comfortable,” VanRickley said.

With two schools in the district experiencing flu outbreaks, district officials say they wouldn’t be surprised if others show up.

Although the season is off to a good start, the CDC says flu season peaks between December and February, but could last as long as May. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the timing and duration of influenza activity has been less predictable.

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