When talking about the flu, people associate pandemics with colder seasons such as the fall or winter. However, health officials say linking the affection to low temperatures is nothing more than a myth. Even though the illness tends to peak in colder months, with some presenting signs of the flu in between, doctors urge the population to get a vaccine by the end of October each year.
Although the number of patients exhibiting flu symptoms have increased recently across Oakland, researchers say that they are not spiking as high as they have in the past. Flu spreads at a rapid pace especially across Georgia and Arizona, with moderation in Utah, North Carolina, Alabama, and Oklahoma. As for now, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say Michigan keeps its infected population at a minimum.
While the flu represents a constant threat to the population, especially this time of year, the illness’ pattern varies, says Dr. Kathleen Forzley, head of the Oakland County Health Division. Hence, each year, scientists are forced to come up with different vaccines that target certain strains.
Targeted Strains for 2017
In an attempt to control the widespread, vaccines this year will attack the H1N1 virus, dubbed California flu, Phuket, which is similar to strains encountered in 2013, the H3N2, also known as the Hong Kong flu, and Brisbane, which the health agencies have compared to 2008 strains.
Not only do health agencies encourage the population to get a flu vaccine, but private companies also encourage the trend. For this, the Rite Aid drugstore chain provides information on its official website about facilities where people can receive the vaccine under the Vaccine Central tab. Currently, Rite Aid has 300 facilities in Michigan alone and 11,000 more nationwide.
Population Infected to Date
So far, there have been 145 confirmed cases in Oakland County. Last year, almost 2,400 individuals contracted the virus in the state and roughly 3,400 have been reported displaying flu symptoms in Wayne County.
Even though doctors encourage individuals to get a flu vaccine, many wait until friends or family members start coming down with the disease. No matter how effective, the vaccine does not work how it’s supposed to if a patient spends much of his or her time in the company of an already infected person. Also, doctors recommend people who have already been exposed to the virus to get a double dose. Stronger doses are also more effective for elderly people, aged 65 or above, say the health officials.
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