Flu season is upon us, and this season’s strain is expected to be stronger than the average years’.
Local Five caught up with Dr. Ryan Murphy, and Emergency Medical Physician at Aurora BayCare Medical Center.
Dr. Murphy says that this year’s flu strain, called H3N2, is to blame for the more extreme flu season.
“It’s a stronger strain, and it’s a very rapid mutating strain,” he said.
That means that the flu shot is not as effective as it would normally be.
In fact, in 2018 the flu shot is expected to be only 33% effective. Other years, it has been as effective as 50-60%.
Dr. Murphy still recommends that everyone get a flu vaccine.
“It does offer some protection,” he said. “It gives you a 33 percent chance of not contracting the flu. It can also make the overall flu symptoms a little less severe.”
But even if you do get the shot, Dr. Murphy recommends washing your hands regularly and wiping down surfaces at home, work, and school.
And if you do start to feel the effects of the flu, taking it easy is key.
“Really the best thing you can do is stay home, rest, take some over the counter medication like Tylenol or ibuprofen for your fever, your aches, your pains, keep yourself hydrated, and then really just stay home until it passes,” Dr. Murphy said.