Influenza hitting young adults hardest

It’s not too late to get a flu shot, and if you’re in your 20s, 30s or 40s, you may want to make a point to do so.

Dr. Casmiar Nwaigwe, director of infection control for Trinity Health, said Minot, like other communities, has experienced a surge in flu activity, and it’s younger adults who are being hardest hit.

“Generally we talk about children and elderly people as those who are most vulnerable to the flu virus, but that hasn’t been the case this season,” Nwaigwe said. “The reason for this likely has to do with the strain of influenza that is prevalent this year the H1N1 strain, which tends to affect younger adults.”

Flu vaccines available this season protect against the H1N1 virus. Nwaigwe urges people of all ages to get vaccinated. “People who are young and healthy may feel that they don’t need a flu shot. But this particular strain seems to affect young adults quite severely,” he added.

Sue Niebuhr, coordinator of infection prevention and control at Trinity Hospital, confirmed that the demographics of this flu season are trending younger. “We’re seeing that young to middle-age groups are more prone to getting the flu. We’ve had a number of patients in this hospital who are in their 20s, 30s and 40s. Some are getting hit pretty hard.”