A flu season forecast is a bit more scientific than a Farmer’s Almanac prediction of weather patterns. The intense illness prediction is based on already cataloged cases of the flu virus, just a few thousand miles to the south. Generally speaking, if Australia has a particularly severe flu season, then the U.S. will as well. Well, Australia had a particularly severe flu season.
To make sure you and your family aren’t put out of commission due to the disease, early vaccination is key, especially in kids.
“Children are the great distributors (of) the influenza virus,” says Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s William Schaffner. “They give it to each other, and then they bring it home and give it to grandparents and uncles and aunts and moms and dads.”
As of late August, there were 73 deaths in Australia caused just by one strain of particularly treatment resistant Influenza A virus. This year’s vaccine is a quadrivalent vaccination, designed to treat four strains.