Transcript for Experts predict a severe flu season
Now a "Gma" health alert about the flu. Some experts are predicting a severe flu season is on the way. Dr. Jen Ashton is here. Who happened to join us. You know her first day? Her first day, January 2nd, 2012. Do you remember. There we are, robin, yep, look at that helmet of hair. Seems like just yesterday. Oh, my goodness. But the flu season. I don't know how it was in 2012. How will it be this year. I don't know either. You can't predict it. It's so difficult to predict. We only know in hindsight. We look to the southern hemisphere. What has gone on in. They tend to be ahead of us and they had a tough season. The predominantly circulating strain was the h3n2. People may remember from last year, it causes particularly severe symptoms. The good news is that type of strain is included in this year's vaccine but we won't know how it hits us until it does if the Tu research showing this may not be as effective. We don't know yet but very interesting study done out of Japan. They compared the use of alcohol based hand sanitizers to regular soap and water, hand hygiene in terms of its efficacy to kill the influenza virus and found the germs on the hand have to be dried for the alcohol based hand sanitizers to work at maximum efficacy. We have to remember flu is transmitted via droplets and hand sanitizers -- I mean and contact. If it's the only thing you have still use it but good old hot water and soap, vigorous rubbing is still the best. How about the flu vaccine this year? Sometimes it varies from year to year. It's not a great vaccine. Last year was 30%. That's better than zero. Think of it as a seat belt. It won't guarantee you won't get the flu but can reduce symptoms and lower your risk of complications so we'll be on it. As always. Thank you, Jen, very much.
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