Flu season grows in severity

17 February, 2018, 01:09 | Author: Cassandra Gardner
  • Deadliest week yet for children with flu CDC reports

A spokesman for the Department of Public Health said the state "is trying to get people vaccinated, encouraging people to stay home when they are sick, encouraging patients to call their providers if they get the flu so they can get antivirals".

But the good news is that it works better in kids.

Monto noted that the 25% effectiveness against H3N2 is higher than the 10% reported earlier from Australia.

This year's predominant strain is an H3N2 Influenza A virus, which tends to be more severe than others.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention figures that, overall, the flu vaccine is 36 percent effective at preventing disease.

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If you have more than one bathroom, have the sick person use one and well people use the other.

The new report shows that for the week ending January 27, just under 10 percent of US death certificates listed flu or pneumonia.

The most common symptoms of flu are fever, cough, and sore throat.

Although most people who get the flu recover in a few days to two weeks, some develop complications like pneumonia that can be life-threatening, the CDC said.

Of those who did have influenza, 43 percent had been vaccinated.

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The vaccine was somewhat effective in young children, but it was almost ineffective for older people, including seniors who are most vulnerable. Reported cases of people with influenza-like illnesses are more than twice the activity seen in a typical flu season. That data will come later. Typically, about half of all Americans get the shot before the season ends. The CDC's midseason estimates of vaccine effectiveness against H1N1 is 67 percent and against B viruses 42 percent. The decision is made months in advance, when it is hard to know what strains will be circulating.

The CDC tested the now approved antiviral medications oseltamivir (brand name Tamiflu), peramivir (Rapivab) and zanamivir (Relenza Diskhaler) against the now circulating flu strains.

Flu vaccines are a cocktail - they protect against either three or four strains of flu. According to the CDC's website, up to 166 million flu vaccines were produced this year.

"Any type of vaccine is better than none", said Scott Hensley, a University of Pennsylvania microbiologist who has led studies that raised critical questions about the vaccine.

As the death toll continues to rise each week, the CDC remains unchanged on strongly recommending immunization, most especially after its most recent analysis revealed vaccines to provide substantial protection against strains of influenza A and B viruses.

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"Some protection is better than no protection at all".



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