Close to 130 flu deaths in SC this year

20 February, 2018, 20:19 | Author: Cassandra Gardner
  • Why it's been such a tough flu season for children

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the newest numbers Friday.

In 2012-13, the H3N2 component of the flu vaccine was effective in just 39 percent of people. The flu vaccine decreased the risk of flu-associated death in healthy children by 65 percent, and by 51 percent in those children with high-risk medical conditions. An FDA expert panel will convene in two weeks to help select strains for next season's flu vaccines, he said. But in a new study published this week in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, researchers from the University of Chicago, Harvard University and others show that poor immune responses, not egg adaptions, may explain the low effectiveness of the vaccine that year. More than half of kids who got a flu vaccine this season have avoided the illness.

The Louisiana Department of Health announced that they are officially extending its free flu shots, and they will be available while supplies last.

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Researchers based the midterm report on data from 4,562 children and adults through February 3. Although H3N2 has predominated, influenza A (H1N1) and influenza B viruses have also been in circulation across the country.

February marks the peak of flu season in the USA, and death numbers continue to rise. "If I am unfortunate and get it, then I rest and if I'm really feeling bad, I'll go in to see about being placed on antibiotics", Ferris pre-medicine sophomore Jordan Van Wert said. Pre-veterinarian and biology sophomore Ciara Kibby said that she knows at least ten people who have gotten the flu, including two of her professors.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., said in a statement that a preliminary analysis of data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services indicates that the cell-based flu vaccine "appears to have somewhat better effectiveness" than the egg-based vaccine.

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It's also essential to practice good hand hygiene, the agency said, because, "unlike some viruses, influenza is easily killed by soap and hot water".

Still, drugmakers are scrambling to produce a better vaccine called a "universal vaccine".

The new vaccines, Fluad and Fluzone High Dose, are specifically targeted at strains that were prevalent a year ago. These include providing some manufacturers with the seed viruses used for further vaccine manufacture and the critical potency reagents needed to ensure that influenza vaccines made by one manufacturer are similar to those made by another. Those who received the normal "three strain" vaccine are not protected.

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'The flu is incredibly hard to predict and we don't know if we've hit the peak yet, ' Dr Schuchat said. It seems that their immune systems didn't bother to recognize the differences from the egg mutations because they already recognized so many other sites on the vaccine strain.

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