I have friends who work in hospitals who are saying that the emergency rooms are packed right now. One hospital even has a tent that is set up outside of the hospital for the clients with flu like symptoms. A couple of Alzheimer’s centers that I have visited in the last week have had signs posted on the doors stating not to come in if you are having flu like symptoms. I have never had the flu before but from what I hear it’s knock your ass on the floor all kinds of terrible. For some reason, the flu has always interested me. With all out advanced technology, why can we not produce a more effective yearly vaccine? We have eradicated so many viruses in my lifetime, why not this one? Why are there so many different strands? Did we do that with antivirals? I would love to be an epidemiologist. Anyhow, I wanted to share an article I read on Medscape.com. Here is what I took from the article:
1. According to the CDC, the flu season is worse at this point in the season than it was last year (doesn’t sound good to me).
2. The most predominate strand so far is the H3N2 at 42.2%.
3. When H3N2 is the predominate strand, it has been associated with more severe flu seasons.
4. The effectiveness of the current flu vaccine is on 62%.
I also found an interesting article that the nerdy nurse wrote on whether employers should be able to make it mandatory that healthcare workers get the flu vaccine. A lot of the hospitals around here have already made it mandatory for the employees to receive the vaccine unless they medically cannot, and it is pretty controversial. Those who do not receive the vaccine are required to wear a mask for the entire flu season. In my opinion, it’s pretty crappy to be required to get a vaccine especially one that so many feel does more harm than good. But at the same time, we took an oath to keep patients safe and if that means getting the flu vaccine so that you do not accidentally infect someone, then so be it.