The flu season can last until May, but doctors and researchers say this year is already proving to be a bad one.
“We do have more cases this year, that’s because it’s a different strain and the vaccine is somewhat less effective than it usually is,” said David Topham, a professor of microbiology for URMC.
This year, researchers say the vaccine, which relies on predicting future patterns of a somewhat unpredictable virus, isn’t always exact.
“That happens from time to time and what we use in the northern hemisphere is based on what was circulating in the winter in the southern hemisphere, but sometimes it drifts and we get a different one that circulates here,” said Topham.
Flu deaths are more typically seen in the very old and the very young, this year however, one of those deaths fell outside of that range, in the 50-64 age group.
“The majority of this is just going to be normal, but if you’re having problems breathing or not acting themselves, generally parents can recognize that. Call your doctor or come in for further checks,” said Kevin Grams, the head of emergency medicine for Rochester Regional Health.
For parents concerned about their children, a few things to watch for are a prolonged fever, and trouble breathing, and as always, doctors say, better safe than sorry.