This is National Influenza Vaccination Week, a time to remind all Nebraskans if they haven’t gotten their flu shot to do so. There have been some reports that the vaccine this year isn’t as effective as anticipated. University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Dr. Mark Rupp is the director of the Infection Control and Epidemiology Department and says it is still too early to tell.
Dr. Rupp says, “I just received a report yesterday from some personnel in our Public Health Lab. One nice thing is the lab here at the University of Nebraska Medical Center serves as the Public Health Lab for the state of Nebraska and the strains that we have been recovering as far as the flu is concerned have matched up when tested in the World Health Organization Labs with the strains that are in the vaccine. I think some of the reports that it is a real miss this year, at least from what we are hearing right now is a bit premature.”
Dr. Rupp says there has already been a large number of influenza cases in the southeast U.S. and physicians are bracing for a more severe season. There is one strain of flu that is showing signs of being more severe than anticipated. Dr. Rupp recommends using over-the-counter medication to relieve the symptoms of the flu, get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids and stay home if you are ill.