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Flu Season Strikes Early

Katherine Ostrowski |
December 6, 2012 | 5:41 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

The Center for Disease Control warns the flu season—which usually peaks in January and February—is hitting earlier this year. This year’s leading strain, H3N2, has been attributed to brutal flu seasons in the past.

"The strains we are seeing suggest this could be a bad flu year," said CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden to CNN. "But this year's vaccine is an excellent match with the influenza that's circulating."

Even after following the CDC’s recommendations, USC Senior Paige Cooley still feels the wrath of H3N2.

“I got a flu shot in September but I’m starting to get sick again,” Cooley said as she chugged Acai Berry-flavored Emergen-C, “It’s just frustrating when I did what I was supposed to do but still get a cold in the middle of finals.”

Ironically, December 2nd-8th is National Influenza Vaccination Week, a national observance to commemorate vaccinations and their role in saving lives. 

A bad flu season can last up until May, according to CDC.

By now, 80 to 90 percent of doctors, nurses and pharmacists have received the flu vaccination as well as 50 percent of pregnant women, according to the CDC. Populations at risk for complications after catching a cold, such as children, teenagers, elderly and college students are encouraged to get vaccinated.

"I encourage everyone six months and up to get vaccinated," said Frieden.

Reach Staff Reporter Katherine Ostrowski here.



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