EXPERTS: This year’s flu vaccine may not prevent Influenza B Infection, will minimize length of illness

Health

NEW HAVEN, CT (WTNH) – At least 13 people in Connecticut have died so far this season from the Flu. Experts say the vaccine may not be a good match for the specific strain hitting families across our area.

Influenza B is the specific strain of concern to many in the medical field.

“We haven’t seen something like that since the Flu Season of 92 and 93,” said Dr. William Horgan, Regional Medical Director of Quality and Safety at Backus Hospital.

Experts say this specific strain is unusual so early into the season.

“We don’t normally see that until the second half of February. We began seeing it in the early part of December,” said Charlie Wetmore, Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner.

Experts say the vaccine is still the overall recommendation to slow down the symptoms if someone was to contract the flu.

“The children who have had the vaccine are sick for an average of two to four days, usually three to four days and their symptoms are much…milder. Opposed to those children who have not had a flu vaccine; they’re sick for an average of five to seven days, the fevers are much higher, their symptoms are much more severe.”

– Charlie Wetmore, Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner.

Dan Hovey knows this first hand. He and his 3-year old daughter are recovering from the flu.

“It was more debilitating, uncomfortable, ran a temp, that kind of thing,” said Hovey.

Experts say the common recommendations still stand in the fight against the flu.

“The best prevention from getting the flu and transferring the flu is hand washing,” explained Wetmore.

The state’s Public Health Department is expected to release new flu numbers on Thursday.

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