H1N1 Is Back; Doctors: It's Not Too Late To Get A Shot Because Season Runs Long

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Flu season started early and strong this year, and on Thursday a new report revealed it’s hitting a different group of people especially hard.

Unlike in previous years, younger people are the ones getting sick, CBS 2’s Dr. Max Gomez reported.

Catherine Lippincott is a 25-year-old who has been dealing with flu-like symptoms for three weeks.

“Just kind of nasal issues, in general.  Not feeling great. Just sore and weak,” Lippincott said.

The current flu season has been especially hard on young adults and the middle-aged. A new report from the Centers for Disease Control shows people ages 18 to 64 have accounted for about 60 percent of all hospitalizations this season. Flu deaths are also up for this age group.

“This group, the non-elderly adult population, is the least likely population to be vaccinated every year,’ said the CDC’s Dr. Joseph Bresee.

Another reason for the outbreak is h1n1 is the predominant flu strain this season and it mostly affects younger people.

“We have had a lot of cases of pneumonia in our office, complications of the flu virus,” said family medical physician Dr. Manuel Momjian said.

Lippincott said she has never had a flu shot, but added she may get one next year.

“Everyone seemed to be dropping like flies. Everyone was getting sick around me,” she said.

However, experts say don’t wait till next year. It’s not too late to get vaccinated. Flu season sometimes runs all the way into May.

The flu shot’s effectiveness is about 60 percent overall this year, which is about the same as previous years.

And even if you do get the flu after a shot, it will be much milder, which could mean the difference between just feeling bad and landing in the hospital, Dr. Gomez reported.

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