USA officials warn 'intense' flu season to continue, urge shots

16 February, 2018, 06:57 | Author: Tina Rodriquez
  • Medical experts warn about new flu strain emerging

"During the 2014-15 season, when vaccine efficacy against medically attended illness caused by any influenza virus was less than 20 percent, vaccination was estimated to prevent 11,000-144,000 influenza-associated hospitalizations and 300-4,000 influenza-associated deaths", the CDC team wrote.

The FDA may pick a good match, but the influenza virus often mutates, sometimes so much that the vaccine elicits immune responses that do not recognize it and therefore struggle to fight it.

Also encouraging is news that the H3N2 strain of flu is becoming somewhat less common, relative to the other strains that are more easily quelled by the vaccine. Children under the age of 6 months can not get vaccinated for the flu, so they need protected in other ways.

Influenza A (H3N2) comprised about 70% of influenza infections this year, and interim vaccine efficacy against this strain was only 25%, according to the CDC.

DE health officials say the flu has killed the first person in the state who didn't have an underlying condition.

While she did not have this week's numbers, Mrs. Martin said the number of cases surpassed last week's 162. He noted that about 70% of children who have died because of the flu in recent years were not vaccinated, according to data published this week.

Fourteen people in the Alberta Health Services Central Zone have died in the 2017-18 influenza season, AHS announced Thursday.

Flannery and colleagues wrote that despite "ongoing challenges" with the H3N2 component since the 2011-2012 season, vaccine efficacy was higher in the US for this strain than it was in Australia (10%) and Canada (17%). The CDC estimated that it had led to more than 17,000 hospitalizations through February 3. These numbers surpass any other flu season since the OSDH began tracking in 2009.

"An administration charge may apply to people who don't hold medical cards or GP visit cards".

Though there were 516 influenza-like-illness cases reported at this time previous year in the county, only 5,417 cases were reported statewide, a little more than half of this season's state total.

In Jefferson County, "it's not been an out-of-ordinary flu season so far", county Public Health Planner Faith E. Lustik said.

The state health department only tracks pediatric and pregnancy-related flu deaths. That said, receiving the flu shot can reduce the severity of flu symptoms.



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