Rochester, N.Y. - The flu season has hit hospitals hard this year, with patients filling up triage rooms.
“At Unity Hospital this season we have 25 people admitted to the hospital, nine still in house,” said Infectious Disease Chief for Unity Health System Dr. Nayef El-Daher.
Many of those flu patients had a flu shot.
“The accuracy of the shot is only 60%” El-Daher said.
Dr. John Treanor is Chief of the Infectious Disease Division at Strong Memorial Hospital.
Treanor studies the flu in patients to see how the disease responds to vaccines and how the body fights the flu.
Treanor says there could be many reasons why we're seeing a difference in flu cases this year.
“Probably the biggest reason is because we didn't have flu before then. The length of time when people weren't being exposed to flu viruses and that may mean the population is a little more susceptible,” Treanor said.
Treanor says weather also plays a role.
“Flu viruses themselves survive longer if it's low humidity and cold temperature,” Treanor said. “Weather also impacts our behavior so when it's cold outside we stay inside together.”
But doctors say it's not too late to get a flu shot.
And even though there's not a 100% guarantee of not getting the flu, experts say it's still the best defense.
“What is it that we're missing with flu shots that's not giving us the protection that we really want to see? I don't know the answer,” Treanor said.
Treanor says he, along with researchers, are trying to make that flu shot 100% effective.
Other counties are seeing more flu cases also.
Ontario County is seeing 300 cases.
Livingston County is seeing 329.
A Strong Memorial Hospital spokesperson said they started to see three positive flu cases per week since October. Those numbers increased to 30 cases per week in December.