Influenza strain worse this flu season than last year

MARION, IL – According to the Centers for Disease Control and prevention, 20 influenza-associated pediatric deaths have been reported this flu season. Doctors say this strain of flu is worse than last flu season.

Cold and flu medicines are flying off the shelves in pharmacies. Most of us know someone who’s had it, and no one wants to be next.

“You hear about all the people in the hospital almost dead or young people that are healthy not surviving. It’s very scary,” said Rebecca King, who lives in Harrisburg, Illinois.

The flu can be especially dangerous for the very young, the elderly, and people like King’s son, who has health concerns that could make him more susceptible. “My son’s a heart transplant survivor and a cancer survivor, so we are very OCD wiping everything down,” said King.

Doctors said the specific strain of flu making the rounds now is difficult to prevent.

“It has a tendency not to respond well to the flu vaccine, and it has a tendency to change some of the egg cultures used to make the vaccine,” said Dr. Ronald Chediak, a pediatrician.

No vaccine can 100 percent prevent the flu. But it does help to prevent complications from the flu.

“As long as we prevent people from dying, or getting encephalitis, or getting pneumonia, it’s still better than not getting the vaccine,” said Chediak.

 The best way to prevent the flu is by washing your hands and getting the vaccine.

King said she is making sure her family is staying hydrated and eating lots of soup until this flu season passes. According to a flu map on the CDC website, the flu is widespread in pretty much all states across the country.

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