The Southern Hemisphere has its flu season during our Summer- so every year around now we watch influenza activity “down under” to get an idea of what we might expect for our upcoming flu season. Here’s the scoop right now. Flu south of the equator has already peaked and continues to decline. There’s been a lot of variation in the dominant viruses in each country this season. Many South American countries have mostly had the H1N1 “pandemic strain” while others like Southern Africa, Australia and New Zealand all had a lot of influenza A (H3N2), with co-circulation of influenza B. You can check out more on the World Health Organization’s main influenza website and the Australian Health Ministry’s surveillance website.
The formula in this year’s US vaccine is a good match for what’s been circulating in the Southern Hemisphere so far this year (Influenza A H3N2 and H1N1, and influenza B). Some of the manufacturers of the vaccine have already delivered some doses- and you’ll no doubt start seeing those “flu shots here” signs at a pharmacy near you shortly.