First 2 flu-related deaths of season in Washoe County

The push is on for people to get their flu shots sooner rather than later

The push is on for people to get their flu shots sooner rather than later

Last year's vaccine was 42 percent effective, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but that number has been significantly lower in other years.

In 2014, 147 children died of flu - majority from a particular strain, H3N2.

The report stated that Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts and Oklahoma have reported widespread activity during the week ending November 25.

Flu shot producers expect to make between 151 million and 166 million doses of vaccine this flu season.

And just a third of pregnant women have received the shot. "That black abyss is something that people can avoid if they would simply get the flu vaccine", said Pool. "They present with the typical symptoms of fever chills cough sore throat muscle aches". Most people recover in less than two weeks.

There's nothing like all the hugs, kisses and displays of affection we're sure to get from family and friends during various holiday parties, family gatherings and visits with friends and neighbors.

And while it may not work well against H3N2, she said it's worth getting the shot for protection against infection with H1N1 and even the B strain (the B/Victoria components may offer cross-protection against B/Yamagata).

Added to that uncertainty is the question of how effective this season's vaccine may be in preventing people from getting the flu.

Many mothers-to-be, though, have not heeded this advice. Individuals can contact the health department at 325-646-0554 for information about the cost of the flu vaccine for children. As part of the series, Joan Mann also discusses how her adult daughter, Kendra, sadly succumbed to the flu at age 35.

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Dr. Marc Siegel is an infectious diseases expert from NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City.

Schwartz, who was not involved in the CDC reports, said some of her patients take the flu shot, but others do not.

"Because there is a risk, there should be a choice", Smith said.

And the vaccine is no guarantee of protection.

The weekly influenza surveillance report shows that of all ME counties, Penobscot County has the most flu activity, with 60 laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza and 24 hospitalizations.

Flannery explained that the journal article looked at Australia's most recent flu season and highlights the low vaccine effectiveness against one type of influenza: the H3N2 strain predominating in the United States today.

It is impossible to contract a case of flu from the vaccine. But the flu isn't the only risk children face during this season.

Experts say that 24 people had to be hospitalized within the last week due to the virus, bringing the total number of hospitalizations to 135. "H3N2 seasons have been more severe in terms of hospitalization and death, especially in the elderly and young children; that's a concern".

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