As effectiveness is questioned, health officials encourage getting flu shot

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In the United States, widespread cases are being reported in Georgia, Louisiana, Oklahoma and MA.

Conover said he has seen between 50 and 100 cases of the flu so far this season with the first being in September.

"Flu season is here until possibly as late as May, and we anticipate an active flu season this year", said Sherry Gregory, RN, Infectious Disease Supervisor of the North Georgia Health District, based in Dalton.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention releases a weekly flu report where it tracks flu activity across the country.

Raney said the numbers are a gauge but don't always give an accurate prediction of how bad a flu season will be or when it will peak. "Flu, along with pneumonia diagnosis, is the eighth leading cause of death in the USA, and we have a vaccine to prevent it".

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He said just because the vaccine may be less effective, doesn't mean you shouldn't get it.

"Even if it may not fully protect you, there's no question it reduces the chance of very severe illness and hospitalization", Englender said.

According to the U.S.

The Journal noted that another factor in the vaccine's ineffectiveness this year is the way it's made, using eggs to grow the strains. Or the vaccine itself may mutate while it is being grown - currently, vaccines are grown in eggs, but many experts don't think that's ideal as the vaccine virus tends to undergo mutations to adapt to growing in an egg.

Doctors say the vaccine is inactivated, so getting one can only help prevent you or your family members from getting the flu virus. "We can't make a judgment on how effective it is at this point", said Rebb. "The most important thing is still to get your flu vaccine".