It is not too late to get a flu shot.
That is the message from Allen County health experts after a recent uptick in flu cases. And they say the strain of the virus going around this time could be more dangerous.
“H3N2 is far more, it likes the heart, and so it tends to cause a lot more heart attack, a lot more congestive heart failure,” said Dr. Scott Stienecker, medical director for epidemiology and infection prevention for Parkview Health.
Dr. Stienecker said normally, Parkview Health admits one or two people a day with the flu throughout the year. Those numbers increased dramatically in recent weeks.
“About three or four weeks ago we saw it abruptly jump to 15 to 20 people a day, but over the past two weeks we’ve seen it jump up to about 45 people a day,” he said.
That is why on Monday Dr. Stienecker joined Allen County Health Commissioner Dr. Deborah McMahan to urge everyone to get vaccinated.
“We’re really making a plea to people. If you haven’t been vaccinated, please stop by your doctor’s office, stop by a local pharmacy and get vaccinated,” McMahan said.
While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will not be able to determine how effective the flu shot is until the season ends, both McMahan and Stinecker say it is better protection than nothing.
“It takes about two weeks to develop full immunity, but even partial immunity over the course of the next week or two would still be better than nothing and will help temper the signs and symptoms of the infection,” Dr. Stienecker added.