Flu Virus Has Mutated, Vaccine Not As Effective In America

Epidemic Alert

Getting a flu shot every year has always been recommended as the best defense against getting sick, but a mutated strain of influenza has caused this year’s vaccine to be less effective. The virus is an epidemic in some states and we’re just now getting into the peak of the season.
 
Each year health officials encourage folks from six months on up to get a flu shot to protect against the virus, and Washington County health officials are no different.
 
However, this year’s vaccine doesn’t seem to be doing the job.
 
“The virus has mutated to some degree. And so the vaccine isn’t necessarily as effective as they would have hoped it would be,” said Northwest Florida Community Hospital Chief Nursing Officer Joanie Beard.
 
Experts decided on three strains of the virus to include in the vaccine. Research found 52 percent of the virus samples later studied were different from the strains included in that vaccine.
 
Now the Centers for Disease Control reports the virus is an epidemic nationwide.
 
“About half of my practice has been sick with the flu over the last few weeks. And it seems to be running through the families pretty much and then relapsing back again,” said Judy McKeown, who received the vaccine.
 
CDC data shows 15 children have died from the disease this season, compared to just four around this time the season before. Here in Florida there are more than 30 counties with mild cases and just two counties with widespread cases.
 
People hit by the virus are encouraged to stay away from others.
 
“I know one that her husband had to stay like in the downstairs bedroom and then he would text if he needed something from her. She would hand it through the door,” said McKeown.
 
Experts won’t be making another vaccine this year, but it’s still recommended that you get the shot.
 
“If the virus has mutated some maybe the one they were planning for is still out there, may still come around,” explained Beard.
 
During the 2012-2013 flu season, 149 children died from the virus. Ninety percent of those kids had not been vaccinated. Right now, the CDC doesn’t know if those who have died this year were vaccinated.
Courtesy of News Channel 7 wjhg

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One response to “Flu Virus Has Mutated, Vaccine Not As Effective In America”

  1. Evelina Radell says :

    Hey! Fine post! Please maintain us posted when I can see a follow up!

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