Flu season worst in four years

Filed under: Health & Safety: Babies, In The News

Yesterday, after three whole days of sunny weather here, the mood at preschool pickup was amazing. If you live in the north, you know what a few days of spring weather can do for the soul. Last week, we were all pale, shivering, and huddled still in our winter coats. Yesterday, everyone was chatting and laughing it up, causing the teacher to actually ask us -- the grownups -- to be quiet.

Can we all agree that this winter overstayed its welcome? Sure there was a lot of snow and the cold seemed to go on forever, but the biggest problem with this winter were the bugs. Stomach flus, bronchitis, and a flu season that was the worst in four years, according to the CDC. That's because the strains that were included in this year's flu vaccine didn't match the strain that actually ended up circulating. My two-year-old caught it and it was definitely one scary virus.

Health experts expect that some people will give up on the flu vaccine, but what happened this year isn't typical. Normally, the flu shot will give you 70-90% protection. Even with the poor match, it provided 44% this year. So if you're a person who vaccinates, you can still feel good about getting (or giving your child) a flu shot.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.