The State Health Department is predicting a nasty flu season ahead.  Arizona Department of Health Services Epidemiology Chief Jessica Rigler say a particular Flu strain is making the rounds this year that is considered more severe than other flu strains.  Rigler says “there is indication “Influenza A-H-3”  will be

circulating this year and we know that years that have had that strain are particularly more severe.”

Influenza AH3 has been tied to more severe flu outbreaks, more hospitalizations and more deaths in previous years.  There has been concern over the vaccine being used to combat this particular strain.  Some reports suggest the vaccine is outdated, but in fact, the vaccine is not a perfect match.  Typically, scientists can match a vaccine perfectly to the virus, but for AH3, the vaccine is off a bit.  

Anyone suffering from flu-like symptoms should seek medical care immediately.  If the flu is diagnosed in time, some anti-viral vaccines are available that will lesson the illness and speed up recovery time.

Kris Dugan