WV DHHR Warning: Flu Season has Reached Epidemic Levels Across the Nation

By Connect Clarksburg Staff | January 21, 2018
here’s been a slight decrease in flu activity in West Virginia over the past week, but health officials say it’s still too early to determine if the flu season has peaked.
While this flu season has reached epidemic levels in some areas across the country with more than 20 flu related deaths, there have been no reported deaths in West Virginia. Every state except Hawaii has reported widespread flu activity.
The vaccine has been less effective so far this season, which was expected after a very weak year for the vaccine in the Southern Hemisphere. Influenza A — specifically H3N2 — is especially prevalent this year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“This year we don’t have a very good vaccine match, so the vaccine ethicacy is fairly low for this particular flu season,” Shannon McBee, influenza coordinator for the WV State Department of Health and Human Resources, told Metronews.
Reports indicate this year’s flu shot is only 30 percent effective, but McBee said it’s important to still make sure you’re protected.
“As long as flu viruses are continuing to circulate, we recommend anyone over six months of age receive a flu vaccine,” she said.
If you have symptoms of the flu including fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny nose, muscle or body aches, headache and fatigue, McBee said you should see a doctor within 48 hours of developing those symptoms.
Flu season is expected to run up to 12 more weeks.
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