It’s been called the “flu-pocalypse” by some in the media, and by others, simply “bad.” We’re talking about the 2017-2018 flu season, and according to early predictions, it’s not looking good.
In December 2017, CNN reported that flu activity was higher in the U.S. than usual for that time of year, causing seven child fatalities and 856 flu-related hospitalizations. Brandan Flannery, co-author of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) flu report, stated that the flu was increasing, with steep increases across the country, and particularly in the South.
About the same time, reports from Australia showed that the flu vaccine used there, which is similar to the one used in the U.S., was only about 10 percent effective against the most serious strain of the flu. It’s called the “H3N2,” and is historically the worst type of influenza—the one that makes people the most sick.
“Unfortunately, it’s the one strain that the vaccine is really underperforming in, in every regard,” Dr. Michael Osterholm, who directs The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told the Business Insider.