CDC: Flu vaccine not as effective as years past

SAN ANTONIO – Flu season is in full force in South Texas, but something's different this year.

As Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials have warned, the flu vaccine is not as effective as it has been in the past.

Dr. Lloyd Das, with Univeristy Hospital's Express Med Clinic, says this year, the flu is not discriminating among young or old.

"I think we're seeing a representation from all across the age groups and people who have different types of illnesses coming in with the flu," Das said.

What is unique, he said, is a lackluster flu vaccine.

The CDC said this season's batch of flu vaccine is not as effective as in year's past because the strain of flu currently infecting patients has mutated.

But getting the vaccine is still just what the doctor orders -- even though it might not mean full prevention.

"It could certainly decrease the intensity, but I think people with the flu vaccine are still getting the flu and having significant symtpoms with it this year," Das said.

Das said one of the best ways to prevent infection is the tried-and-true method of handwashing, using soap and water, or hand sanitizer in a pinch.

He advises anyone with the flu to avoid being around children, the elderly, anyone else who is sick, or women who are pregnant or have delivered in recent weeks.

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