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Ask the Expert: How well does the flu vaccination match the virus this year?

Cases of the flu in the Tri-State appear to be on the rise. (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - Cases of the flu in the Tri-State appear to be on the rise.

Pediatrician Dr. Adam Reis with St. Elizabeth Healthcare says if you feel sick, stay home. And to protect yourself from the flu and other illnesses, make sure you wash your hands before or after you touch your eyes, nose and mouth and before eating.

Dr. Reis recommends this for all his patients, especially those such as Ali, who's now 8 and in the second grade. She's well this week, but already this season, she says she's had strep throat and the flu.

Ali did get this year's vaccination against the flu. Dr. Reis says getting the vaccine lends to milder symptoms if you do get the flu.

"Typically, kids start with the fevers, the cough, the runny nose, and then, after that, it's kind of like just more of the fatigue and the sore throat that's been bringing those kids in," Dr. Reis said.

The problem is that not all kids are getting the flu strain covered by this year's vaccine.

"We've been seeing a lot more of the flu B this year, which has been a little bit rougher on the kids. The flu is always a rough thing, but definitely a little spike here in the last month and a half or so," said Dr. Reis.

Ali said she did try to do everything to get better, something challenging for many parents given that Dr. Reis says the vaccine appears to be a better match for adults, who seem to be showing up with more of the A strain this year.

Dr. Reis said the flu season did seem to slow down a bit during the holiday while the kids were out of school, but since then, he says it has come back strong.

Kids can be given medications to ease some of the symptoms, but you do have to get them tested for the flu in the first 48 hours.

Most years, the vaccine is about a 40 to 60 percent match.

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