FRIDAY, Oct. 27, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Early signs suggest that the United States will see a severe flu season, so it's especially important for Americans to get their shots, health experts say.
Australia had its worst flu season on record, and what happens in the southern hemisphere typically predicts what happens in the northern hemisphere, said Kevin Harrod. He is a professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham's department of anesthesiology and perioperative medicine.
"These data tell us that we should see a worse-than-average flu season," Harrod said.
This year's vaccines are combating the H3N2 strain and B strains of influenza, according to Harrod. H3N2 viruses cause more severe disease in the elderly and young children, and they are associated with a high hospitalization rate, he noted.
The best protection against the flu is vaccination, Harrod said in a university news release.