Health Care

Flu Season May Be Losing Its Momentum

Flu Season May Be Losing Its Momentum”

A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee will consider whether to change the flu vaccine for next year as the country faces a worse-than-expected flu season.

And while the number of cases of flu diagnoses fell, this season might not end completely until mid-April, a CDC spokesman said, according to the Daily Mail. Five pediatric deaths were reported so far this season in IL.

In the meantime, he stressed that even this season's flu shot is far from worthless.

During flu season, the flu vaccine can be as high as 70% effective. "The antibodies that you get out of it are now a response against a slightly different virus, which reduces the effectiveness". "It makes all the parents feel warm and cozy; it makes the school feel that they're doing something; but it really has a trivial impact". While the H3N2 strain was included in the vaccine this year, the virus tends to adapt to the eggs, making it hard to formulate the right vaccine for the public.

Although the current vaccine is only about 25% effective against that particular strain, vaccination can still prevent thousands of cases of influenza, according to CDC.

"The knowledge we gain through such scientific research will allow us to determine if we need to change recommendations to vaccine manufacturers for how future seasons' vaccines should be produced", Gottlieb said.

"As it's turning out, the majority of the kids nationally who died from the flu did not get the vaccine", said Douglas.

So why did this season's vaccines not deliver higher protection against H3N2?

Hospitalizations for flu in the eight-county metro Atlanta area were far lower in the week of February 11 through 17 than in the previous week, down to 91 from 165.

"Our community has not seen an increase in absences compared to this time a year ago", said Julie Wilken, R.N., director of the Department of Health Services.

We don't think it was a question of getting the particular H3N2 strain wrong when we set out to produce this season's flu vaccines. "Proportionately it's been those without a vaccine, but those who have received the vaccine are also at risk", said Peko.

Flu is still becoming a reason for many deaths.

Peko said recognizing true flu symptoms is vital in combating the spread of influenza.

Influenza may cause fever, cough, runny nose, body aches and fatigue, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Well, it is now gets cleared that flu shot will only help you to avoid sickness and flu. "Don't go to a waiting room and infect other people", said Douglas. Vaccinated patients can still come down with the flu, but their symptoms are likely to be briefer and less severe.

If you are caring for a sick individual at home, keep them away from common areas of the house and other people as much as possible. "We could be looking at a couple more weeks of higher activity".

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