Flu strain is severe this year, get the vaccine: Dr. Siegel

Flu season in full force with the number of confirmed cases through early December reportedly more than doubling the amount in the same period last year.

As many as 36 states are reporting flu activity already, with 21 showing high influenza activity in the last week of 2017.  Yet, experts are saying this year’s flu vaccine is only 10% effective.

“You say 10% ... first of all we won’t know until after the season how effective, but what we mean by 10%, 20%, 30%, about maybe 30%, it may be more than 10% is how many people end up hospitalized, how many people end up really sick, you know people get pneumonia from the flu, people get heart attacks from the flu.  We need every tool we have and this is the first tool, there’s no downside to this,” Dr. Marc Siegel told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney on “Varney & Co.” on Wednesday.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control, the flu virus is responsible for 12,000-56,000 deaths each year, but according to Siegel, this year’s strain is particularly severe.

“This is a severe strain of flu, it was terrible in Australia this year … it’s already peaking early here, we’re having hospitalizations, we’re having children dying,” he said.

Siegel said Tamiflu has been useful this year for those who came down with the flu and explained some of the symptoms associated with the virus.

“Your viewers need to be on the lookout for sudden fatigue, for fever, for sore throats, for nasal congestion, joint aches, muscle aches,” he said.