Why does this flu season seem worse than the rest? Doctors say it’s the type of strain

MADISON COUNTY, Ala. -- The question has probably crossed your mind... "Why does this flu season seem worse compared to previous years?"

Is the vaccine not working? Well, doctors say it's more of a complex answer.

The H3N2 flu virus is the most common virus we're seeing this flu season. It's nothing new. In fact, it's been associated with more severe seasons in the past.

Especially for those 65 and older.

"Particularly if they have chronic health problems like heart disease or chronic lung disease as well as children particularly children under age four," said Acting State Health Officer, Dr. Scott Harris.

Dr. Harris says we're in for many more weeks of the flu -- just over half way through the season.

He says the vaccine isn't perfect and there's always an educated guess when it comes to making up the flu vaccine for that season.

"Researchers go and find which strains seem to be circulating in the southern hemisphere 6 or 8 months before our flu season," said Harris.

Researchers will then predict which strain we'll see in the US.

"H3N2 is a strain that has never really responded that well to vaccines, even when we know that its coming and when we predict correctly that we need to include that strain in vaccine coverage," said Harris. "People still tend to get a lot of H3N2 influenza."

And that's why its even more important to take preventative actions every day throughout flu season.