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Health officials brace for severe flu season

Posted at 2:07 PM, Dec 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-06 18:41:37-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — If you received a flu shot this year, it may not protect you from contracting the potentially deadly disease.

Health officials say they are bracing for a severe flu season.

In Australia, where the flu season is winding down, this year’s vaccine was only 10 percent effective.

"Unfortunately, these viruses mutate a little bit to where they're just not affected by the vaccine as they should be," said Dana Hawkinson, an infectious disease physician.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 7,000 flu cases have been confirmed in the U.S., which is more than double the number of cases at this time last year.

Despite the potential ineffectiveness of the vaccine, Hawkinson said it still makes sense to get the flu shot. The vaccine can reduce the strength of the virus and decrease the risk of hospitalization.

Flu is currently widespread in Georgia, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Massachusetts.