Doctors warn of serious flu season this year

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STAMFORD -

Doctors at Stamford Hospital are warning this flu season is shaping up to be a bad one across the state and around the country.

Experts say flu cases are spiking at a quick rate this year.

Dr. Michael Parry says that while the total number of patients he's treated is about the same as last year, this year he's seeing a mix of the two influenza virus strains. Statewide, the Department of Health says that 350 people have tested positive for the flu this year, compared to more than 250 last year. The state's three fatal cases this year all involved patients over 65.

Influenza A is known to evolve every year, but this year, Dr. Parry says influenza B is on the rise.

"Last year we saw nothing but influenza A this time of year," he explains. "That's important because the vaccine seems to be better for influenza B then it does for influenza A. Perhaps actually although the vaccine is getting a bad rep, it may actually be more beneficial."

The "bad rep" stems from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which says the shot could only be about 10 percent effective this year. Usually it can range from 10 to 60 percent.

Parry says it's not too late to get the vaccine, which involves the injection of a single dose.

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