That H3N2 strain caused infections here last year, too.

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Flu season tends to peak around January, but there's no way to know when it will start spreading widely.

Manufacturers say between 151 million and 166 million doses will be available this year.

He said it could claim as many lives as the Hong Kong flu outbreak in 1968, which killed at least one million people. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told The Associated Press.

Professor Dingwall told The Daily Express: 'Based on the Australian experience public health officials need to meet and urgently review emergency planning procedures.' 'We don't know what's going to happen but there's a chance we could have a season similar to Australia,' Dr. The worrisome news came as the government urged Americans Thursday to make sure they get a flu shot before influenza starts spreading widely.

Health officials are bracing for a potentially miserable fall and winter The Southern Hemisphere, especially Australia, was hit hard with a flu strain causing severe illness in seniors.

Last year, only about 47 percent of the population was vaccinated.

Insurance covers most flu vaccinations, often without a copayment.

For those paying out of pocket, prices can range between and .

'If you needed another reason to get vaccinated, there it is.