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Family & Relationships A Strain Of Flu Not Included In This Year's Jab Is Spreading - Here's How To Prevent It

17:47  06 january  2018
17:47  06 january  2018 Source:   huffingtonpost.co.uk

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Here ’ s what you should know about the flu season this year . Q: Is there something particularly bad about this year ' s flu strains ? Aside from vaccination, the single most important thing to do is prevent the spread of germs.

The predominant flu strain this year is H3N2, a form of influenza A. This strain is included in this year ’ s flu vaccine, but information on how effective the vaccine has been is typically not available until the flu season is over. Why this year ' s flu is worse and how to help prevent the spread .

a person sitting on a bench © Provided by Huffington Post A strain of flu that isn’t included in this year’s main flu vaccine is spreading, according to Public Health England (PHE).

There are many different strains of the influenza virus and, each year, vaccines are designed to target those believed to be the most of risk to the population.

This year, the main vaccine is designed to protect against three strains of flu (including the Australian flu, which has already caused fatalities in Ireland) however it does not protect against a strain of the virus called influenza B/Yamagata - which is now spreading.

In a letter to GPs, which has been seen by HuffPost UK, PHE warned about the strain, which has been detected in a number of hospitals and care homes across the south west.

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Also, monitoring other critical medical products to prevent shortages, including antivirals, other supportive care drugs & devices: https Here ’ s what you need to know. Three charts that show this is a really, really bad flu season. This year , the majority of flu cases involve H3N2 strain .

AUSSIE flu is just one of the flu strains causing havoc in the UK this year and symptoms have Aussie flu : How to prevent ‘incredibly unpredictable’ deadly infection. The flu jab is recommended each year to protect people from the illness - but why might it not be as effective this year ?

The standard (trivalent, meaning three strain) vaccine given to most people in the UK protects against the following strains of influenza: 

:: A/H1N1 – the strain of flu that caused the swine flu pandemic in 2009.

:: A/H3N2 – a strain of flu that mainly affects the elderly and people with risk factors like a long term health condition (also known as Australian flu).

:: Influenza B – a strain of flu that particularly affects children. In 2017/18 the vaccine will contain B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus.

There is also a vaccine - called a quadrivalent influenza vaccine - which is given to people in high risk groups, such as children, elderly people, those who are pregnant or who have asthma. This vaccine protects against the three strains listed above as well as a strain called B/Phuket.

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Some people doubt whether they should get a flu shot during bad years , but doctors and the CDC still overwhelmingly recommend getting one to prevent influenza from spreading more. They include three or four strains since multiple viral strains can circulate throughout the season.

The 2018 flu season is shaping up to be one of the worst in years , so here is advice on how to prevent the Everything You Can Do to Prevent the Spread of Flu . But that would probably give you protection to the strain that’ll emerge in February or March, toward the tail end of the flu season.”

In its latest flu report, PHE said B/Yamagata viruses were ‘antigenically similar to B/Phuket’, so the quadrivalent virus can better protect against it.

That said, a spokesperson for PHE previously told HuffPost UK the typical effectiveness of the flu vaccine is in the range of 40-60% - meaning some people can still get flu, despite having the jab.

Symptoms of flu

Flu symptoms often come on quickly with sufferers experiencing a fever, a dry chesty cough, tiredness, the chills, joint pain or aching muscles. Much of the time it will make them too unwell to do anything.

Other symptoms include: diarrhoea, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, a sore throat, a blocked or runny nose, sneezing, loss of appetite and difficulty sleeping. 

In a letter to GPs in the south west, PHE wrote: “Surveillance for week 51 shows a large increase in laboratory reports of both Influenza A and B, but particularly B.

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Here ’ s How Facebook Plans To Stop Children Using Its Site. A strain of flu that isn’t included in this year ’ s main flu vaccine is spreading , according to Public Health England (PHE). Doctors and nurses who have had this year ’ s standard flu jab can still catch this particular strain of flu , which

Is Aussie flu worse than other types of flu ? The UK is seeing a mix of flu types circulating including influenza B as well as the H3N2 strain . This year ' s flu jab is designed to protect against H3N2 as well as some other strains . How effective is it ?

“As most adults will have been vaccinated in general practice using trivalent rather than quadrivalent vaccine, it is possible that cases of flu will be seen amongst individuals, both staff and patients, who have accepted this vaccination.”

An analysis by the health body found that 21 out of 25 cases of influenza B were caused by B/Yamagata. The other four cases were caused by a strain called B/Victoria (similar to B/Brisbane, which this year’s vaccine protects against).

  A Strain Of Flu Not Included In This Year's Jab Is Spreading - Here's How To Prevent It © Shutterstock While B/Yamagata isn’t as severe as Australian flu (A/H3N2), there are worries that an outbreak of this strain of flu could put increasing pressure on the NHS.

Doctors and nurses who have had this year’s standard flu jab can still catch this particular strain of flu, which could increase staff absences at a time when waiting rooms are filling up.

In week 51 of 2017 (Christmas week), the overall influenza-like illness GP consultation rate was 18.9 per 100,000 in England. The week before that it was less - 11.4 per 100,000 people.

PHE confirmed in its letter that “a number of hospitals and care homes across the south west have already been affected by localised outbreaks and increased demand”.

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This is the basis for flu vaccination and why you have to get a new vaccine jab every year . Aussie flu refers to one kind of influenza A virus strain , the H3N2 strain . The southern hemisphere, including Australia, just experienced one of its worst influenza seasons in recent history and this is the virus that

with the worst outbreak of flu there in two decades, amid fears the same strain could strike here . Others offered the jab include some one million care home staff and other social workers who help A review of last year ’ s vaccination programme found it failed to help the elderly from contracting the flu .

So what should you do if you’ve had this year’s jab and are worried about catching this strain?

Professor Paul Cosford, Medical Director for Public Health England, told HuffPost UK: “The vaccine remains the best defence against the virus. It is not too late to get vaccinated and we urge all who are eligible, especially those in at-risk groups that include people aged 65 years or over, pregnant women, and those with certain chronic conditions, to take up the offer of the vaccine.”

Dr Richard Pebody, Acting Head of Respiratory Diseases department at Public Health England, advises to: 

:: Practice good hand hygiene - for example washing your hands with soap and warm water before preparing and eating food.

:: For those who are suffering symptoms of flu, carry tissues and use them to catch coughs or sneezes. Bin the tissues after using them, wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water, and frequently clean surfaces like computer keyboards, telephones and other regularly used objects.

:: Avoid having unnecessary contact with other people if you or they are presenting symptoms of flu.

Advice for people with flu

People concerned about flu-like symptoms should stay at home. PHE emphasises that patients should seek advice from a local pharmacist before contacting their GP.

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The jab protects against two Influenza A strains , including the lethal “Aussie flu ” strain , which has already claimed lives in the Republic of Ireland, and one Influenza B strain .

The flu virus has continued to spread across the UK, including a rise in cases of the H3N2 'Aussie' strain Back in September, NHS bosses urged all eligible Brits to get the free flu jab - but admitted it Here ' s what you need to know about the deadly 'Aussie Flu ' sweeping across the UK. Comments.

Patients can contact their GP, or call NHS 111, to seek further advice. People with flu should get plenty of rest, keep warm, take paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower their temperature and treat aches and pains, and drink lots of water to avoid dehydration.

For most healthy people, recovering from flu can take roughly a week. However, for those that are more vulnerable, it can be more severe and it is important to be aware of this and seek help when needed. 

Dr Steve Iley, medical director for Bupa UK, told HuffPost UK: “If you experience sudden chest pains, difficulty breathing or coughing up blood, you should call 999 to seek immediate help.”

Related: Australian Flu May Cause Britain's Worst Flu Season In 50 Years (Provided by HuffPost UK)

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