The flu is hitting us hard this year. And we want to keep you on top of things to keep you and your family healthy.
There's a reason why the flu season is particularly dangerous this year.
It's the type of flu strain that's going around. It's called the H3N2 virus. It's not a new strain, but it's been associated with severe flu seasons in the past.
SPECIAL SECTION | Flu resource guide
That could be one of the reasons why we're seeing so many cases so early in the season.
Flu season typically peaks in February.
But many hospitals in our area and across the country saw a spike in December. At GBMC, the numbers were way up.
875 patients came into the emergency room last month with flu-like symptoms.
On any given day, as many as 25 to 30 patients are being seen in the emergency department.
The H3N2 strain has been known to make you feel sicker and cause more respiratory problems especially in the elderly.
Dr. Kathleen Mathey with Family Care Associates at GBMC says this year's flu vaccine is pretty well matched to the strains we're seeing this year.
So it's not too late to get your shot. It takes about 2 weeks for the vaccine to take full effect.