Flu vaccine a pretty good match for viruses this year: CDC

Feb 17, 2017, 00:24
Flu vaccine a pretty good match for viruses this year: CDC

Flu activity has been moderate so far this season, the report said, though it is worse than previous year, when the percentage of doctor's visits for the flu did not go above 4 percent.

The coding system now used by the MSU Vinson Health Center is green, meaning no flu activity; yellow, meaning one or two cases; and red, meaning several people each day are reporting the flu or flu-like symptoms.

The flu vaccine is developed every year to try and match the virus strains that are expected to be most common during flu season in the U.S. Currently, the U.S.is in the middle of a flu epidemic, which occurs nearly every year.

"Hand sanitizers can be helpful for a lot of things but with norovirus, hand washing with soap and water is actually the best", Rother says.

According to CDC statistics, 82.3 percent of positive lab results say Ohioans are carrying the A (H3) strain.

The vaccine is 73 percent effective against the B strain of flu. It's also particularly important for babysitters and elderly caretakers. Scientists have identified almost 600 variations of the virus this season. During the last five flu seasons, the percentage of doctor's visits for the flu remained above the national baseline for 13 consecutive weeks, on average.

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Pneumonia is one of the most serious flu-related complications that occurs in the elderly. If you're an adult 65 or older and have chest pain or a cold that lasts for more than two weeks, you should seek medical help as soon as possible.

According to a joint news release issued by the region health systems, during the week of January 29 through February 4, Mountain States hospitals recorded 86 positive flu cases. There have also been 20 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated pediatric deaths. Unfortunately, that's not the strain affecting the most people this flu season. "Activity is increasing in some of the Midwest and the East Coast".

"It's like a yo-yo because the virus is still around and the numbers go up and down; we're just below 10 percent now, but new cases are still popping up", Jackson said.

"But the best estimate we can come up with is we only spend about $35 million globally on ... research on new game-changing flu vaccines".

Americans who rolled up their sleeves for a flu shot this year cut their chances of coming down with the aches and fever of influenza by nearly half, a level of protection that is disappointing for a vaccine but still better than in some recent years.

The committee's decision is based on information from more than 100 countries, where influenza-monitoring centers conduct surveillance of circulating viruses. "It will protect you for the rest of the season".