Understanding the flu 2013 season

Every year the Center for Disease Control puts out of report to inform people of what to

Flu 2013 season

Flu 2013

expect during the Flu 2013 season. Recently, the CDC provided the Flu 2013 report which including the Flu symptoms 2013 list. The first piece of information that is necessary for understanding the current flu season is, what sort of flu season should people expect, are there any new strains, when will the chance of infection be at its peak and are there going to be enough vaccines to go around.

Understanding the flu 2013 season

The first thing to understand is that there is no real way to predict how bad a flu 2013 season is going to be, in some cases, it can all be relative to the geographical area and the socioeconomic status of the community in general. Additionally, there is no real way to predict how bad the Flu symptoms 2013 are going to be because it can vary from person to person and region to region.

As a result, the best is anyone’s guess and people should consider speaking with their primary care providers for more accurate information on the community. They are often the key element to understanding the flu 2013 season and preparing for it.

One of the biggest things that people worry about is whether a new strain is going to come out. Additionally they might have the added worry about how effective are vaccines really going to be against new or mutated strains. The reality is that there are going to be mutations and therefore new strains coming out in practically every flu season including the flu 2013 season.

The current flu 2013 season has just begun and new strains have yet to be discovered that should not discount their existence and people should be aware that the flu is one of the diseases that has been around since record history and has no cure despite vaccines, which can help to minimize and sometimes eliminate flu symptoms 2013.

The Flu 2013 season, which begins in November, does not usually peak until some time between January and February. If you are looking to obtain a vaccine, it should be done before November so you can be prepared. However, this is just an average, in some areas it can start as soon as October and run all the way through May.

Are Vaccines Really Effective

Dealing with the flu symptoms 2013 can be harsh. It means lost time from work, lost wages on top of the coughing, sneezing, congestion and body aches that are often associated with the flu. No one wants to deal with it if they do not have to deal with it and that is where vaccines come in. Vaccines are made from pieces of the flu virus and are designed to provide the human body with the tools to create antibodies.

These antibodies are what help protect people from the flu 2013 . When they encounter viruses they are vaccinated against, they already have what it takes to fight the virus off. This is not completely effective. It is however, good protection. There are numerous things, which can interfere with the effectiveness of a vaccine. For example, there are some medications or even preexisting conditions, which can weaken the body’s defenses. When this happens, the vaccine is not as effective or the virus can cause symptoms. In these instances, the flu symptoms 2013 are generally milder than you would experience without the vaccine.

In spite of this protection against flu symptoms 2013 most people will not obtain the flu vaccine despite its wide spread availability. There is reported to be an increase of approximately six million vaccines from originally projected amounts. The majority of these vaccines are projected to be Trivalent though there will be some that are quadrivalent vaccines.

The difference between these two flu 2013 vaccines is the number of viruses that it protects against, additionally, these vaccines is split into several different types. There are standard doses grown from eggs, some from cell cultures, others are egg free and there are others designed for all people and others designed for those 65 and older. The Quadrivalent vaccines can be given to people from 2 years versus 6 months with the trivalent and the quadrivalent only has two options a nasal spray or shot. Trivalent shots are all shots.

News about the Flu Vaccine for 2013 – 2014 Flu Season

Flu season this year came with a will to fight the most modern flu vaccine. Vaccines have been reported to have failed several people around the world. But the numbers are not enough to generally consider the vaccine to be ineffective. Health reports have shown that people who had the vaccine still experience flu symptoms. However, these symptoms disappeared before doctors can declare that the patient really had flu.

But another set of numbers show a different story. The overall efficacy rate of the flu vaccine is at 59%, based on the study conducted by the Center for Infectious Disease Research & Policy of the University of Minnesota. This means that the vaccine has a 41 percent failure rate. When we consider risks and probability, getting the flu shot today is just the same as keeping yourself healthy and getting enough sleep. In other words, you do not have to get the shot to protect yourself during flu season.

Another statistics shows the efficacy rate of the vaccine to be around 56 percent, except when the patient is 60 years old and above. This is based on actual people who took the vaccine before the 2012-2013 flu season. It seems that actual efficacy rate is lower than the theoretical one.

The Need to Improve the Flu Vaccine

The poor efficacy rate of this year’s flu vaccine is a compelling reason to start reworking the approach into dealing with the influenza virus next year. One can easily reject it as a flu vaccine when you consider its failure rate and how it is not capable of stopping all strains of the virus. The CDC is now planning to have a four-component flu vaccine that is expected to stop 4 strains of the flu virus. These are H1N1, H3N2, the 2 strains of influenza A and influenza B.

These are the 4 predominant strains of the flu virus known today which will prevent any possible H1N1 and H3N2 scare. The H1N1 virus is the most popular strain since it is responsible for 4 historical flu outbreaks: the Spanish Flu, the Russian Flu, the outbreak in Fort Dix and the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. So the latest vaccine will be the most powerful one based on the number of flu viruses that it supposed to stop. Testing for the efficacy is much easier now. However, there is also the aspect of safety. This new vaccine is more potent which means it can also have far worse side-effects than the previous vaccine.

The efficacy of the flu vaccine is also dependent on the time period required for the antivirus to spread through the body. This is why CDC started administering the vaccine this month to give the antivirus 30 days time to circulate throughout the immune system of each American.

Flu Vaccine’s Constant Wall

The only problem with the current plan is that it will have nothing for any new strains of the virus during 2013 – 2014’s flu season. The CDC is hoping that there will no such occurrence but the possibility of the current strains of flu viruses to mutate is still there. And just like the past flu seasons, health officials are expecting mutant flu viruses that will have resistance to the latest vaccine.

For this year’s flu season, the latest vaccine will receive its true and toughest test as more and more people take it in preparation for October, the month when flu season starts in North America. CDC is expecting the vaccine to be far more successful than the one used last year. Officials are hoping to have an increase in efficacy of at least 20% or an overall efficacy rate of 79%.

This is a very ambitious goal considering the factors that will affect the vaccine’s efficacy. Virus mutation is the worst enemy since it can render the vaccine completely use on that strain of the flu virus.

The Issue with the Seniors

Another factor that can through a huge curve ball on the flu vaccine is the elderly. Last year’s vaccine had a terrible efficacy rate on senior citizens, an embarrassing 27 percent. But against stronger strains of the virus, the efficacy rate drop further down to 9 percent. This also led to a significant number of flu related fatalities on this age group during last year’s flu season.

However, health officials claim that the primary culprit is the significant decline of the body’s immune system when it reaches 60 years old and above. The vaccine may be able to stop to virus from multiplying but it is unable to stop the flu symptoms which can trigger other illnesses.

The elderly should still take the flu vaccine since it is still considered the best defense against the dreaded influenza virus according to the health experts.

 

2013 Flu Season Updates in the South Hemisphere

Flu Season in Australia and New Zealand

The flu season is heading towards its last month in the southern hemisphere. But there are reports of delayed influenza season in

All about the flu / flu season 2013/2014

All about the flu / flu season 2013/2014

several countries in the south. In Australia, there is evidence that the flu season has just started for several states. One is Canberra. Paul Kelly, Chief Health Officer of ACT confirmed last August 12 that the flu seasons in Canberra just started. Last year, flu season peaked in the middle of July. Eastern Australia also experienced a delayed flu season. Cases of flu were first reported in the first week of August and are not expected to peak anytime this month of September.

The odd thing observed is that other areas had an early flu season. In New South Wales, the flu season started earlier and peaked on the month of August.  There were also scattered reports of flu cases since January but the numbers are too few to be considered a sign of the flu season. Overall analysis shows that the 2013 flu season for Australia will be a slow one.

Despite the delay of the flu season in Australia, New Zealand is expected to reach the end of its flu season as the country enters spring. The country has an early flu season, at the very start of winter. However, there was reported late flu surge in Wellington reported last August 30 which made the Regional Public Health office on red alert this week for any changes in the situation. Health officials have officially declared it as a flu outbreak and warned Wellington citizens to watch out for symptoms.

This sudden spike in flu season activity in New Zealand has baffled medical experts. They still consider it as a late flu surge due to the effect of temperature change on the virus. However, official expert findings shows that warm weather have no significant effect on flu infection. So the cause for the late flu outbreak is still a mystery.

 

 Flu Season in South Africa

The same is true for South Africa. The flu season officially started last May and is expected to reach its last “hurrah” this September. It is also observed that the strain of the virus that affected the region is predominantly the H1N1 or influenza A which already have an effective vaccine. There are also cases of H3N3 cases but it is significantly lesser in numbers that those who were infected by H1N1.

All nine provinces in South Africa experience the onslaught of the flu season. But the most affected province is Gauteng with over 600 cases of the flu infection, the highest number in all provinces. North West had the least number reported which is just 7 cases of flu infection. The local health officials also needed to deal with the hoax that spread last July about swine flu infecting people in the region. Although the number of cases has dropped significantly since week 27, the number of flu infection remains consistent from week 28 to week 33. And this time most of the infections are caused by the H3N3 virus.

There is still no sign of the flu season ending in South Africa. But the current trend is saying that it is in its late stage. The number of cases is expected to drop further in the weeks to come. For now health officials are observing the behavior of the H3N3 flu strain.

 

Flu Season in South America

In South America, the flu season is officially over according to the World Health Organization. There were no cases of flu infection reported since week 32. It peaked in South America during weeks 26 to 27. Number of flu cases significantly dropped in the succeeding weeks. Week 33 and 34 showed no additional cases of people getting sick from any of the influenza strains, even from the very common H1N1 virus.

This information is telling us that the flu season is at its end in the southern hemisphere. The only notable exception is Australia due to the late onset of the flu season and the slow activity of influenza in the country. There is still no concrete explanation for this phenomenon but health officials are confident that the preparations they have will still work. The only issue is that this could lead to an extended flu season that could very well peak in the middle of spring or even continue to early summer.

 

Conclusion

Australians are advised to take the flu vaccine to increase their protection from the virus. The slow activity should not be taken as a sign that flu season this year will have insignificant effect compared to last year. This will also help prevent sudden flu epidemics in areas with small to zero case of reported incidents. This is to prevent scenarios like that one happened in Wellington, New Zealand. Schools are good places for the virus to spread fast since a lot of young people mingle with each other. An infected student can easily cause an outbreak if the other students are vulnerable.

Flu 2013: Flu Update in Europe as of January 2013

On the second and third week of this year, the flu activity continued to rise in some parts of the northern hemisphere, and remained sporadic in the southern hemisphere. The A (H3N2) flu virus is pretty much a very dominant strain, which is then followed by the influenza B and even the A (H1N1) pdm09 viruses.

Influenza Activity in Europe
Flu activity in Europe has increased in variable proportion as the virus circulates throughout the region. The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has seen increase in A(H1N1)pdm09 virus cases, this is from the central and eastern European region. A predominant strain (influenza B virus) were reported in few countries, while some countries also reports A(H3N2) viruses predominated

The flu virus is spreading across European region, from west to east, affecting at least 10 countries in the region, and report shows that numbers are still growing. Right now, there’s a widespread activity in the west and north, while sporadic to no activities in the east. The same way it did in flu season 2011/2012, the strains A(H1N1)pdm09, A(H3N2) and type B are showing signs of circulation, but they’re normally just mild cases. However, many elderly individuals with underlying health conditions have been affected severely by the virus, while fatalities have been recorded in younger patients.

As usual, in winter season, health care authorities all across Europe have warned citizens to prepare for an increase in cases of various respiratory conditions for both outpatient and hospitals all across the region.

Right now, at least 16 European countries have reported cases of influenza virus activity, much of these countries are in the northwestern part of the continent; this is according to the latest weekly surveillance report from the ECDC in Stockholm.

Data shows that the hardest hit of the virus is Norway. So far though, it’s the only nation in the continent that reports “high intensity” of fly transmission. A couple of weeks ago, about 12 countries, including France, Ireland and Germany, have reported moderate increase in the level of cases the last weeks of 2012, ECDC said.

Like in the United States, flu in Europe arrived very early this season. But experts say that although the flu activity is increasing, they don’t see it as worse than normal.

So far, 239 people have been hospitalized and were confirmed through lab tests as flu patients, this number is obviously expected to grow. It may be lower than the actual number of cases, since many people have had the virus didn’t end up in hospitals. Also, reports said there were two confirmed fatalities of the flue.

In US, the epidemic has stretched drastically, affecting 47 states and killing 20 children this season. However, the kind of strain circulating in Europe to day is different. The US’s predominant flu virus strain is Type A, while the predominant strain in Europe is Type B, which has 2 different sub-types. According to the new report, this season’s vaccine is better suited to the viruses circulating in Europe.

“The virological match with the strains in the current seasonal influenza vaccine is considered good,” the authors wrote.

But at the same time, parts of Europe are being gripped by norovirus, the severe gastrointestinal illness that also has spread across the United States and Canada.

In UK, the Health Protection Agency said that more than 3,800 cases have been confirmed through testing so far, that’s 70% increase over this time a year ago. Since many people have chosen to avoid going to hospitals, they experienced other symptoms through retching, such as acute diarrhea, and other sickness symptoms at home. Thus, it is believed that the true number of sickness is higher than the reported digits.

ABC News: Earliest Flu Season in a Decade: 80 Percent of Country Reports Severe Symptoms

Flu Warning Signs

Flu season arrived with no signs of mercy this year as America set out a series of medical emergencies in over 40 states as more and more people became afflicted by the virus. Hundreds of people were being admitted to hospitals in just 5 weeks since the start of the flu season and several death due to flu complications have been reported. This has led a lot of people searching for signs of this dreaded disease. And to help you and many others deal with the flu at the earliest possible time we at flu2013.com offers a list of signs that tells you that you or your love one has caught the flu virus.

Before we show you the flu warnings signs it is important to know that it will take up to a week for the flu virus to really affect our bodies. After that you will see the following signs:

  • Fever with body temperature 100 degrees Fahrenheit or more
  • Common respiratory problems such as cold and cough
  • Clogged and runny nose
  • Migraine accompanied by muscle pains
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Chills and Fatigue

The usual first sign is the respiratory problems which can be cough then cold or the opposite. This can then be treated by common flu medications like BioFlu, Tamiflu and Relenza. These are good drugs that will help deal with flu at the early stage.

The warning signs that everyone should know about are the flu symptoms that occur 5 days since the onset of the symptoms listed above. These early symptoms are expected to disappear within 5 days.

The warning signs vary between a child and an adult. But there are signs that are common to both.

Warning signs in both adults and children

  • Return of flu symptoms such as fever and cough but more severe this time
  • Abnormal breathing
  • Persistent vomiting

Warning signs in children

  • No tears when crying
  • Increased irritability
  • Skin color becomes bluish
  • Skin rash
  • Decrease in physical interaction

Warning signs in adults

  • Chest pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dizziness and confusion

Once you see these signs it is now time to rush yourself or your love one to the doctor or the hospital. Chest and abdominal pains are critical symptoms that can lead to death if not treated immediately. For children, the change in skin color means that the breathing trouble that they are experiencing is now causing hypoxia. This is a condition where the oxygen in the blood is so low that it is no longer enough for the entire body. When this happens while you have the flu organs would weaken further making them more susceptible to the onslaught of the virus. It can also lead to more complications in the respiratory system which already have problems providing oxygen to the body. For older adults, this can easily lead to death.

It will take a good amount of observation to notice these warning signs 5 days after verifying that you or your love one has the flu. Vigilance is required.

Please also visit our latest news post:

Flu Virus Still Getting Strong In Western States

 

Flu2013 is now on Twitter!

You can also read tweets about the latest flu remedies that are very cost effective. Read daily tweets about the latest updates on the flu season and how the countries around the world are affected, especially in the US. You can now follow Flu2013 and read daily updates through twitter.

You can also follow our tweets on flu and all the important information about the disease. You can now read about the flu virus, how it spreads, the common symptoms and what other common diseases resembles flu in our twitter feeds. So you do not have to type flu2013.com anymore. You just need to login to your Twitter account and you will see updates from us. That if you are already following us on Twitter.

And with Twitter comes a way for you to voice out your opinion on the topics you read in flu2013.com. Feel free to open up to us and start a conversation about the effectivity of the flu remedies that we provide. This way we can make any changes on contents that are found inaccurate. You can also share your own personal home remedies for flu that you have proven to work all the time.

With flu2013 on Twitter it is now possible to access flu-related information any day at any given time. This makes it more convenient now that we are in the middle of the flu season. And all of us need all the help we can get to keep the flu virus at bay or to be able to detect the symptoms early on.

So follow us on Twitter today. Just search for it in Google or type #flu2013 in the search tab in your Twitter account. You can also type Flu2013 on Twitter in any search engine for faster results.

Americans Struck Hard by Flu Season

US is now in flu season as over 40 states have several cases of individuals suffering from the disease. But the Center for Disease Control and Protection was caught by surprise by this early than normal flu epidemic. They expected widespread flu infection to occur in late January to early February since this was the pattern for decades. This time it is possible that the flu season is the worst Americans will face. And it is not even peak season yet.

 

A total of 108 individuals were confirmed to have die due to flu related complications in 6 states alone. CDC has also confirm that 42 states have several cases of patients suffering from flu with several areas hit hard all throughout the Midwest, East and South. The Southwest and West continue to remain unaffected by the flu season. About 29 states have reported severe flu cases among children, the elderly and even on employees of hospitals.

 

The city of Boston was among the first cities to declare a state of public health emergency as Massachusetts suffered 18 deaths due to the flu virus. The state of Massachusetts is one of the 29 states that are having severe flu breakouts in the US as of today. Oklahoma has also recorded a total of 345 flu patients were 8 of them have died due to complications. That is an increase of 2 deaths since last week when 6 people with flu were reported to have died. The state of Minnesota did worst. A total of 23 deaths due to the flu virus was reported by the state Health Department on the first week of January. Minnesota also has one of the largest number of flu-related hospitalizations this season with numbers reaching 1,121.

 

The US economy is also feeling the attack of the Influenza virus.

 

Several offices were empty trying to disinfect the workplace as more and more employees started showing signs of the flu left work to see their doctors. Classes were also suspended in several cities to protect the children from the virus. Productivity went down drastically on 42 states so fast that the economic outlook for the first quarter is expected to be negative. The US flu season officially started on the 3rd week of December last year. 5 weeks into the flu season and the CDC has recorded 2,257 hospital admittance due to flu. The number is expected to grow until flu season finally ends.

 

The CDC is expecting the number of cases to go up further in the following weeks as the flu season starts to peak. With that they also expecting the death toll to go up further. CDC will be releasing a report on the total number of deaths due to flu on Friday for the first 5 weeks of the flu season.

YouTube Video on the Flu

Influenza Cases In U.S. Continues To Rise This Month

The season of flu is still in motion in the Northern Hemisphere, particularly in the United States. Here’s the latest report, along with few tips to keep you from this wintertime sickness:

The latest update shows another big leap in the number of reported cases as of the second week of December this year. Presently, there are already 29 states reporting a widespread activity of the virus throughout its population, which includes Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. This is 11 more states than last week, and more than half of the country being widely affected.

12 more states, including the states of Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Washington, are reporting some regional activities of the virus.

Local flu activity also includes Columbia District and 5 more states, namely Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Montana, and Oregon.

Meanwhile, California, Hawaii and Vermont are reporting sporadic influenza activities, while Delaware, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands didn’t report any cases this week.

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) still emphasize the importance of the flu vaccine, and that the flu shot is still out best defense to keep the deadly virus at bay. The CDC recommends everyone, over 6 months of age, to get the shot and be immunized. The flu shot in circulation today was derived from three strains of flu virus, one strain is new for this season’s vaccine.

Despite CDC’s constant reminder, many people are still hesitant to take the flu shot, thinking that it can, cause them to sickness. It’s important to note that, though the vaccine may cause some flu-like side effects to particular sets of people, such as mild fever, muscle aches, sore throat, and runny nose, it does not give the body the flu. Rather, it teaches the body to fight and beat the flu virus should the real one comes a close.

Flu shots however, aren’t for everyone, such as patients below 6 months of age and pregnant women. Those who can’t take the vaccine are advised to take extra measures in taking care of their health and minimize the risk for contracting the virus of lessen its symptoms, such as avoiding close contact to sick or flu-affected individuals, avoiding other people when sick, staying at home from school or work when experiencing flu or flu-like symptoms, washing hands frequently, covering mouth and nose when coughing and/or sneezing, and avoid touching noise or mouth and the eyes.