Well, I knew it was inevitable, as we see flu every year, but...... I really didn’t expect to see it this early. Yes, I have been seeing more than a few patients who have tested positive for influenza and it is only November! UGH!
The patients I have been seeing have many of the classic flu symptoms: fever, sore throats, coughs and generally “feel badly”. But, they don’t look as sick as some years and they have typically only had 2-4 days of fever. Most of the patients have tested positive for influenza A, although we have also had a few cases of influenza B.
I checked the CDC website to look at flu activity around the country and there are only 7 states (Texas being one) that are showing flu activity, so only time will tell if this is really the start to flu season across the country, or just an early blip?
So...it is really important to go get those flu vaccines for you and your children now, as it takes a few weeks to develop antibodies and get protection from the vaccine.
The vaccine contains 3 different influenza viruses, 2 different types of influenza A and an influenza B. The vaccine is manufactured to contain the types of flu that are expected to circulate during the 2012-2013 season.
Hopefully this year’s vaccine will be a good “match” for the influenza viruses that we see, but time will only tell. Regardless, the best protection is to be proactive, get the flu vaccine - sooner than later.
I will keep you posted as we know more about flu 2012-2013, but for those of us in Texas, flu season is knocking on our doors a little early.....bummer!