Flu season – still?

Be wary around your friends, coworkers and family who’ve been coughing and sniffling the last few days – it’s still flu season!

A recent CNN story says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 43 states are having widespread flu activity, whereas just a week ago the number was seven.

According to the CDC, six children have already died this week, bringing the total number of pediatric deaths during flu season to 21, while the number of adults is unclear because each state is not required to report individual deaths from flu cases.

The CDC has also said the best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated, even though the 2014 flu shot was announced ineffective against the now mutated virus. The vaccine was given the ineffective status due to the quickly evolving strain, H3N2, which mutated and was not recognized until March, therefore too close to the forthcoming vaccination period. The H3N2 strain has accounted for 95 percent of this year’s flu cases.

According to the CDC spokesperson, Erin Burns, the 2003-2004 season identical to this year’s mutated strains, and the vaccine was still 43 percent effective. Regardless, all are still encouraged to avoid those who may appear to have the flu or its symptoms – and encouraged to wash their hands!

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