New flu shot targets new strains

Two new flu strains and a mild flu season last year means it's more important than ever to get that flu shot.
Flu cases usually start to pop up in October, peaking in January or February. There's no better time than now to get that flu shot and there's never been more options.

You can never quite predict what an upcoming flu season will hold but, since last year was unusually mild, health officials with the CDC and the Department of Health and Human Services are urging people that complacency could lead to serious illness.

"Every year healthy children die from the flu. Every year pregnant women get the flu and are hospitalized and it can have very serious consequences for themselves and their unborn child," said immunization specialist Dr. Melanie Mouzoon.

Dr. Mouzoon says the latest flu vaccine includes protection against two new strains. "The biggest thing is there's a new strain of H3N2, not the pig variant, but a new strain of the H3N2 which tends to be the more severe type of influenza A."

The CDC reports that last year just over half of American children and less than 40 percent of adults were immunized. While many adults just don't take the time to get the shot, others fall on the old wives tale that the flu shot may cause the flu.

"It's impossible to do that," said Dr. Mouzoon. "It's a killed virus."
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