The number and percentage of positive tests for influenza B also remains higher for this time of year compared to the same period during the past seven seasons, with five times the number of cumulative detection compared to the same period during the 2014-15, the report adds.
The majority of people hit by the flu this season will recover; however, hundreds of thousands of others won't be as lucky.
Flu season is at its peak from December to February and the New Jersey Department of Health wants you to be proactive about getting your vaccine before flu activity increases. Earlier the experts said that the flu-related diseases claim around 250 to 500 thousand lives each year, but now the same experts state that the number of deaths caused by respiratory ailments is actually around 650,000.
Dr. Wallace said even if the effectiveness of this year's vaccine is lower than usual, it's still the best way to fight the flu.
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If you're a health care worker and you haven't gotten a flu shot, you're required to wear a face mask when working with patients.
"That being said, the authors of the preliminary Australian study did make a point of saying in their article that annual vaccination remains the most effective way to prevent influenza infection each year", Lantrip said in an email.
"The earlier we notice strains of influenza, the better we can combat them", he said. They then used computer modeling to develop estimates for flu-linked deaths, excluding pandemics, in 185 countries.
Symptoms of flu can include headache, chills and cough, followed rapidly by fever, loss of appetite, muscle aches, fatigue, runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes and throat irritation. "The flu shot combined with proper handwashing are the two most effective things you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones". If you work with people, especially if you work with people who may have a compromised immune system such as young children, the elderly or those already sick, not getting your flu shot may be considered negligence if someone gets infected as a result of an employee not getting their flu shot. Residents 18 and older can often get a flu vaccine at a local pharmacy. "Most insurances are paying for flu shots, so it's really not a cost to you". So mention this to your doctor when you go for your vaccine! Consequently, the majority of flu cases reported in the U.S. so far this season have been that H3N2 strain.