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Dr. Fox discusses the 2018 Flu Epidemic on KSDK, Channel 5

November 7, 2019


Dr. Mary Fox is the Chief Medical Officer
for the Visiting Nurse Association of Greater St. Louis. This is your busy season. Thank you so much making the time to come
here to talk to us about flu. Why is the flu season off to such a fast and
furious start? Well, as you mentioned we have one strand
of the flu, H3 – N2, which is an influenza A, which is only 10% effective, and for that reason, there are people that
are coming down with more serious cases of that. However, you have to keep in mind that the
flu shot several other strand in it, two if you take the trivalent, and three if you have
a quadtivalent. And those are actually as effective as they’ve
ever been, and possibly even more effective. So. you’re getting more than just the 10% ineffective
vaccine for the H3- H2. Usually, we associate the flu with bitter
cold temperatures and now we’re seeing them in a relatively mild winter. These numbers of people with the flu. That seems unusual. It is unusual and it basically stems from
the fact that mutation of the H3-N2 virus. So, it changed just a little bit and is not
that perfect match with the flu shot. Is that what you’re saying? Ok, I also want to make the distinction Dr.
Fox about the exact disease we’re talking about. This is true influenza, which is different
than from stomach flu. Tell me the difference. Well, influenza A is the one that most people
are experiencing symptoms from who do come down with it. And, that is a very serious type of flu. You get high fevers. You get chills. You feel like a truck has run over you. You usually have a cough, sometimes a sore
throat, often a headache, so it’s something you feel terrible when you get this. As opposed to people who who say they have
the stomach flu. That typically is just nausea sometimes with
vomiting and diarrhea and that is not the type of flu we’re dealing with. An there is no shot that protects you against
that? That’s correct. So you’re still recommending that people get
the flu shot for influenza even though it’s not the perfect match, right? That’s right. it’s better to have some protection than no
protection. And, especially for those people that are
very vulnerable – small children, seniors, pregnant women. By other people getting the flu shot, you
help decrease their exposure and that’s always a good thing. Alright, Dr. Mary Fox with the Visiting Nurse
Association. Thank you so much for joining us. And there is so much flu vaccine out there,
you can call your doctor’s office or the Visiting Nurse Association at 314.918.7171.

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