Monday, 18 June, 2018

No end in sight for worst flu season in recent memory

Lubbock Impact offering free flu shots on Friday 9 Deaths in Tennessee due to Flu
Judith Alexander | 17 February, 2018, 01:10

The flu vaccine is doing a poor job protecting against the bug that's causing most illnesses, however. "Every flu season is different, but every flu season is bad". The vaccine's effectiveness may have changed as it is measured at the end of the season.

Based on these numbers, the answer is yes.

"The fact that the vaccine doesn't work as well as we would like is clearly a contributing factor", said Dr. William Schaffner, a Vanderbilt University vaccine expert.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an annual influenza vaccination is recommended for everyone that is six months of age and older. Thomas shared this flu season has stayed level so far and she has yet to see an increase in flu cases. "Go get a flu shot".

At this time a year ago, 44 deaths and 3,368 total confirmed cases had been tallied, compared to the 251 deaths and 16,078 cases this season. One as yet unanswered question is whether those versions of the vaccine were better or worse than vaccine produced in chicken eggs. From those results, almost 67 percent tested positive for influenza A. The age group with largest distribution for positive specimens was 5 to 24 years; the second-largest group with positive results was over the age of 65. To make the effectiveness calculations, researchers tracked who got the flu, and who among them had been vaccinated. "The flu vaccine is not 100 percent effective, and it is still possible to contract the flu after receiving a flu shot". It protected 42 percent of people against influenza B. Some people, including young children, may have diarrhea and vomiting. Victim ages range from 47 to 93-years-old.

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In fact, Schuchat from the CDC told Fortune that the recent rise in flu activity will lead to more hospitalizations and deaths.

"As a whole, Virginia has seen widespread flu activity throughout the state since the beginning of December 2017, roughly three weeks before widespread activity was reported for the 2016 through 2017 flu season", said Ferrell. Common flu strains occur enough for most people to build resistance to them, but rarer types like H3N2 aren't frequent enough for many to have reliable resistance.

Schuchat said that the levels of people reporting influenza-like Illness, or ILI, are "around" what the US experienced during the H1N1 pandemic in 2009.

Although the vaccine may not stop the flu, it will bolster the body's immune response against the virus, tempering its effects.

Two other flu vaccines on the US market are made without eggs.

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