Doctors fear a worse flu season in Kentucky than years past

This year's flu season could be the worst yet

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The first case of the flu in Kentucky has been confirmed in Lexington. Experts are warning all of us that this year’s flu season could be the worst we’ve seen in years.

We all know flu season is always predictably unpredictable, but maybe not so much this year. Local pharmacy’s and doctor offices around town are already offering the flu shot. If you think September sounds too early to get vaccinated, think again.

Flu season in the Southern Hemisphere can be an indication of what's to come here in the U.S. Winter there just ended and flu season arrived early and was stronger than ever.

The dangerous H3N2 strain dominated. That strain typically sends more people to the hospital than other ones, which is why doctors are concerned and planning ahead. They tell us that you can get your flu shot now, but if you want to wait definitely get it before the end of October.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention flu cases normally pick up in October and November, peak around February, and can last into Spring.

You may remember last year the vaccine didn’t work well ... at only a 29 percent effectiveness nationwide. Doctors blame the poor results on a surprise second wave of H3N2, just like what they’re seeing right now in the Southern Hemisphere.

If you're planning ahead. remember it takes two weeks for the vaccination to kick in and protect you, so it's important to get your shot sooner rather than later.

If you're skeptical of getting the flu shot, doctors want to remind everyone that we need not overlook its “partial protection.” Meaning even if you get the shot and the flu, normally symptoms will be less severe and won’t last as long, due to getting the shot.

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