Two New Flu Strands Announced

By Terry Olson, PhD.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has just reported there are two new strands of the influenza virus this flu season. These new strands are part of the H3N2 family and tend to be harsher than other strands.

These new strands are an example of why you need to get a new flu vaccine each year. This year’s vaccine only retains one ingredient from last year’s, protection from the H1N1 strain that caused the 2009 swine flu pandemic. This year’s vaccine will also protect against another Type B strain.

Specialists cannot say how bad this flu season will be yet, but remember that it takes about two weeks for the flu shot protection to fully kick in. Flu season usually begins in October and peaks in January and February.

Our recommendation is that you should get your flu shot in October and November when you are healthy. Getting a flu shot can be a convenient stop on your regular errands like going to the grocery store. Take the time, get your shot and protect yourself, your family and your community.

Have any questions about the new strains? Post them below in our comments section.

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