Saturday, 18 August, 2018

Area health officials hope 'worst is behind us' for hard-hitting flu season

Number of flu cases in Missouri still in thousands but slowly decreasing Chris Hondros Getty Images
Samantha Long | 01 March, 2018, 05:18

"We're taking steps to investigate each of these potential causes, rule out possible reasons for the variation in effectiveness, and improve vaccine efficacy against H3N2".

Although flu vaccines cover three to four strains, there are a number of strains circulating at one time, making it tough to nail down the right ones. The data show that overall vaccine effectiveness for H1N1 and influenza B was 67 percent and 42 percent, respectively, for all age groups combined. Part of the process will be understanding why this year's vaccine was less effective against influenza A, the common cause of flu-related illnesses this season. Thorough hand-washing, coughing and sneezing etiquette and getting the flu shot all help reduce the spread of the virus.

Next: Needle phobic people shy away from vaccine.

The treatment's poor performance was seen as a blow to childhood flu vaccinations.

Powell said the 36 percent effectiveness undersells the vaccine's total value. "We are pleased that the ACIP has voted in support of a renewed recommendation for FLUMIST QUADRIVALENT in the United States and look forward to continuing to work with public health authorities to optimize protection against influenza", said Gregory Keenan, vice president of USA medical affairs for AstraZeneca, in a statement.

"I think it will promote even further immunization of children with influenza vaccine and that's just terribly, terribly important", said Schaffner. Our current flu season is only about halfway through. "Influenza virus is not transmitted by environmental surfaces to any degree".

"When they inject these eggs with the virus, they are prone to egg-adapted changes, or small changes that happen because they are cultured in eggs", Higa said.

Rangers reach trade sending six-time All-Star Rick Nash to Bruins
The Bruins have acquired Rick Nash from the New York Rangers , the Rangers have announced on their Twitter account Sunday morning. Since his arrival, Nash ranks first in goals, third in assists and in games played and fourth in points on the Rangers.

Kids also have a significant mortality risk from the flu. One recent CDC study found about 50 percent of the pediatric flu deaths occurred in otherwise healthy children, and 78 percent of those children had not been fully vaccinated.

There's no indication that this year's flu epidemic had any bearing on the CDC's choice to once again recommend FluMist to doctors.

According to the Arizona Department of Health, there have been more than 3,000 reported cases of H3N2, the most out of all viruses this year. FluMist, which delivers a weakened version of the flu through the nose should be ready by next year's flu season.

The FDA - along with other agencies, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - is analyzing why the vaccine wasn't as effective against one particular strain of the flu, which resulted in most of the illnesses this year.

"There's no guarantee that the new nasal spray vaccine will enhance the uptake of the influenza vaccine in children".

And children really are more contagious than adults when they get sick.

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