Why Do Healthy Children Die from the Flu? Study Offers New Insights

16 February, 2018, 06:58 | Author: Cassandra Gardner

Whether you have the flu or not one key preventative measure you can take to avoid getting or spreading the virus is "wash your stinkin' hands", the nurse said.

More than 61,000 Pennsylvanians have confirmed cases of the flu and 7.7 percent of Americans have sought the help of a health professional for flu-like illness.

Experts say the vaccine's poor performance is one reason why the United States has been suffering a surprisingly intense flu season.

The CDC says that flu kills from 12,000 to 59,000 people every year.

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Both the Canadian paper and the CDC data show the vaccine did much better against other strains. The report is based on data from 4,562 patients, including some from MI.

More: Is Tamiflu the answer for your flu? "This new evidence reverses earlier assumptions that the young are more susceptible to the flu because their immune systems do not mount a strong enough response to the virus". In Australia, for example, its effectiveness against H3N2 was pegged at 10 percent, and in Canada at 10 to 20 percent. The U.S. rate was "similar" to the final vaccine efficacy numbers for the 2016-2017 season for this strain, the researchers said. So all the different vaccines on the market are lumped in together in vaccine effectiveness estimates.

Washington state officials say that the flu is expected to be highly active for several weeks to come and it's not too late to get vaccinated.

"It has is a huge lifesaving effectiveness for a certain number of patients", he said. Children who were vaccinated cut their risk of getting the flu in half even against the H3N2 strain-results that are "better than we were expecting", Schuchat said.

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It's not clear why the H3N2 component of the vaccine works so poorly.

Flu vaccines are a cocktail - they protect against either three or four strains of flu.

"Last week, we had a huge increase in numbers of cases and this week, it's just as bad", she said. Type B viruses tend to hit children harder because they are less likely to have been exposed to them in past seasons, said Jose Romero, chief of infectious disease at Arkansas Children's Hospital. "Some protection's better than no protection".

Anyone not already immunized should get a flu shot despite the lateness of the season, because "some protection is better than none", one of the officials told a news briefing.

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