This Year's Flu Season Could Be Really Ugly
Dominant strain is a harsh one and off to an early start
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Dec 4, 2012 7:10 AM CST
Updated Dec 8, 2012 7:00 PM CST
Flu season could be a bad one this year.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Flu season is off to its earliest start in almost a decade, and that could signal rough, tissue-filled days ahead. Five Southern states saw a high number of doctor visits for flu-like symptoms in late November, months earlier than usual, and that has federal health officials warning that we could be entering the worst flu season in several years, the Wall Street Journal reports. Worse still: A particularly unpleasant flu strain, H3N2, is at the forefront this season.

That strain apparently often arrives early, though the CDC hasn't given a reason for the rash of cases. Flu season hasn't come this early since 2003-04, a year when 48,600 people died, more than twice the average number. But that year, the flu vaccine wasn't a good match for the leading strain—whereas this year, it's a 90% match with H3N2, making it a good shield against the virus. Some 37% of the US has gotten a flu shot; the CDC recommends one for everyone six months and older.

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Showing 3 of 34 comments
Estrus
Dec 9, 2012 10:26 AM CST
another new study that just came out....CDC states that the flu shot helps elderly people 60 on up from getting a heart attack... meanwhile Obama health plan for elderly refuses any care to prolong their life...something smells like a fish.. is this his way of eliminating elderly people or a short cut for heat patients health..
HANKHILL
Dec 9, 2012 8:49 AM CST
if you dont get your shot you may rot!
Steve4freedom
Dec 9, 2012 6:50 AM CST
Don't take or let anyone gives you flue shot. It will kill you and you neve rknow what the Evil Empire (US gov't) will shot into your body just to make you sick, live shorter or even kill you. Use natural, herbal foods, drinks such as green tea, black tea, orange juice, apples and banana to boost your immune system and avoid flu. Also, in flu-seasons, the best is to avoid public places, such as restaurants, shopping malls, movie theaters. I work for a school district in California, one of the places where the flue hits first and I never let anyone give me any kind of "shots". I rarely get the flu bc I prepare with NATURAL things only.