The flu is big so far this winter.  An exact number of cases isn’t known because the flu is not an illness that has to be reported, but this flu season has seen 323 admissions to intensive care units for the flu in Illinois, compared to 61 last year at this time.  Melaney Arnold of the Illinois Department of Public Health says the flu is ahead of the vaccines.
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“Typically what we are seeing is the influenza A strain. This year it’s a strain called H3N2 that’s been the most common so far this year, and this strain has drifted so much, meaning it’s changed a little bit, and so the vaccine that was created may not be as effective against this strain as it could be,” she said.  The best you can do, Arnold says, is wash your hands a lot. For the benefit of other people, cover your nose and mouth if you sneeze, and stay home if you’re sick.
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