According to the CDC, the 2014-2015 flu season could be severe. This is because of the H3N2 viruses that were analyzed from October 1st through November 22nd 2014, in the United States, 48% were antigenically similar to the H3N2 seasonal vaccine and 52% were antigenically different. In previous flu seasons within the last decade, the flu seasons that had the highest mortality level had H3N2 as the dominant strain. The seasonal flu vaccination will most likely contain the two Type A Influenza strains, H1N1 and H3N2, and one or two Type B Influenza strains. The seasonal flu vaccine does not protect against Type C Influenza viruses because this type of virus is not thought to cause epidemics.
Symptoms for the cold and the flu can be similar. They both can begin with a sore throat, congestion, and a runny nose. A cold usually goes away after a couple of days, but flu symptoms can last for a few days to weeks. Flu symptoms can include a fever, muscle aches, and soreness with the possibly of developing serious health problems such as pneumonia. Those at high risk of becoming infected include children younger than 5 years old, adults over 65, pregnant women, and people who have existing chronic health conditions.
Although there is an antigenic drift in the H3N2 virus for the 2014-2015 flu season, doctors still recommend getting the seasonal flu vaccine because the vaccine can still be partially effective. Practicing good hand hygiene, such as using sanitizing soaps, and disinfecting surfaces can also help reduce the chances of becoming infected. Make sure that the disinfectants are EPA-registered with claims against the influenza virus or seasonal influenza.
For a listing of Multi-Clean liquid disinfectants or disinfecting wipes that are effective against influenza, please visit Multi-Clean’s Infection Control webpage.