The cold and flu season is here!

The cold and flu season is here!

All reports point to 2017-2018 being an especially bad flu season. Cases are picking up "dramatically" according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).  And the dominant strain, H3N2, can produce much more severe illness.

While Americans are enjoying summer, Australians in the southern hemisphere experience winter and the flu. In the summer of 2017, flu was diagnosed in 168,337 Australians, nearly double as many as the previous year. And the H3N2 strain was predominant.

Even worse, it appears the 2017 flu vaccine is only 10 percent effective in preventing illness.

Public health recommendations coming from the CDC include getting a flu vaccine and taking a prescription anti-viral medication. Even a quick review of the medical research literature shows that the value of both the flu vaccine and the prescription anti-viral drug used to treat the flu have been called into question for years.

Many researchers are dismayed that such claims are routinely made for these interventions. Not that they do no work -- but that they do not work as well as people are led to believe.

People are told by their doctors to get the flu vaccine. They are told to take a prescription anti-viral drug for the flu. But they are not told how well either of these measures actually work. In fact, they work for a few, but leave most people untouched by any benefit.