Gearing up for battle: What Australia's tough flu season means for us

Vaccines in the United States this season are created to protect against two A strains (H1N1 and H3N2) and up to two B strains (B/Victoria lineage and B/Yamagata lineage), according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you have a medical condition, such as heart or lung disease, influenza can make it worse.

Despite warm temperatures and sunny days, flu season has arrived, and local health officials are urging residents to receive their flu shots as soon as possible.

"Now is a great time to get a vaccination", Martin said.

Further, Dr. Daniel Jernigan, influenza chief at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told the Associated Press that: "We don't know what's going to happen, but there's a chance we could have a season similar to Australia". Those without insurance can go to a county public health center.

Influenza upper respiratory infection.

For those over 65, it turns out you've got some options when it comes to these important vaccinations.

Neither vaccine is recommended for seniors who are allergic to chicken eggs or those who have had a severe reaction to flu shots in the past. Receiving the flu shot each season is the best way to prevent infection, as the virus changes from year to year; each season the recommended vaccine is created to protect against circulating viruses. According to a press release, last year, San Diego's Health and Human Services Agency reported its first flu death on October 4th, and in total, the county saw 86 flu-related deaths.

The Health Department will start what it calls "active surveillance" next week, gathering data from labs around the state, noting all hospitalized cases of flu and mapping flu outbreaks in schools and long-term care facilities. It also helps to prevent spreading flu to your family and other people.

The FDA approved vaccines are created to offer extra protection beyond the standard flu shot.

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