Time to get a flu shot

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But that doesn't mean you should forgo the shot.

Dr. Richard Wallace at UT Health Northeast said children are more likely to get the flu.

Dr Michael Osterholm, who directs The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told Business Insider that the vaccine is, at best, around 10 percent effective on H3N2.

"What's predominant now might not be predominant a month from now; and so what's in the vaccine versus what's the predominant strain in the community is going to really determine how effective the vaccine is", Dr. Wallace said.

Most deaths, the WHO says, happen with people over the age of 75 and in the world's poorest regions.

The report said it's unclear how that will affect the Northern Hemisphere's flu season - which typically starts in October and can run as late as May - but this season's vaccine has the same composition as the one being used in the Southern Hemisphere.

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Flu symptoms, which can include fever, coughing, sore throat, body aches, headaches, chills, and fatigue, generally don't pose serious consequences for many people, but can develop into more serious health problems like pneumonia or respiratory failure and can, at times, be fatal.

Flu season is at its peak from December to February and the New Jersey Department of Health wants you to be proactive about getting your vaccine before flu activity increases. But many pharmacies now offer them, too. Because while the influenza may be at best uncomfortable for some people, it is deadly for some.

The first full week of the holiday shopping season saw a spike in the number people coming down with influenza in the St. Louis area. They noted, however, that their new estimate may mask the true overall death burden, because the study focused on respiratory deaths related to flu, which doesn't take into account flu's known exacerbating impact on other conditions often listed as causes of death, including cardiovascular disease or diabetes.

Flannery explained that the journal article looked at Australia's most recent flu season and highlights the low vaccine effectiveness against one type of influenza: the H3N2 strain predominating in the United States today. Also, experts suggest getting the flu shot. "Flu typically goes through March, so at any time if you want to come in and get a flu shot, you can get a flu shot", said Carroll.

But how do you make sure that you either have a cold or the flu?