Severe flu season on the way

Flu shots may be less effective this flu season because the strain of the virus now out there has changed genetically from the one for which the current vaccine provides protection. 

So the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is advising those who do get the flu to speak with their doctor about whether they should get antiviral treatments even if they've had a flu shot.  The main flu virus this season is called H3N2, but doctors didn't determine that the virus' genes had shifted until it was too late to adapt this year’s flu vaccine. 

But the CDC is advising people to get a flu shot to guard themselves against other strains of the virus. And people who do become sick with flu may have less severe symptoms if they are vaccinated.

Antiviral treatments, however, are recommended, particularly for those who are at higher risk for complications from the flu, such as children five years old or younger, pregnant women, older adults, and those with preexisting conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart disease. Antiviral treatments can begin as soon as symptoms start, before there is a flu diagnoses.

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Sourced from: LiveScience, Why This Year's Flu Season May Be Worse