Well, I went home sick a week ago today, and I missed my normal Saturday afternoon shift working on the Sunday paper. I was back at work Monday, but it's been an extremely busy week, especially for someone who was just coming back to speed. I feel much better, but I'm still coughing and wheezing and I think my co-workers are getting a little tired of me (provided they weren't already).
There's been a lot of illness going around, and a story I just read on Associated Press shed light on some of it.
First, some background: there are many different strains of flu, and it's apparently ineffective to try to put all of them into single vaccine. Because of the long production schedule for flu vaccine, officials must try a year or more in advance to predict which strains of flu will be a problem during a given season, and each year's vaccine cocktail is mixed up based on that recipe. That's got to be a difficult job.
Well, according to the AP story, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the creators of this year's cocktail picked wrong, and missed a strain that has turned out to be quite common this season. Even if you had a flu shot (I did), it only prevents 40 percent of the specific kinds of flu that are prevalent this year. That's why 44 states reported widespread flu activity this week.