CDC: This season's flu shot working well in children

Pearl Mccarthy
February 18, 2019

Less individuals have looked for outpatient care or have been hospitalized for influenza like ailments this season, the CDC said in a report summarizing influenza action from September 30 to February 2. It's too soon to state when this season's cold virus will peak, he stated, and there might be several weeks left in the season.

The flu vaccine is doing a relatively good job this season, protecting about half the people who got it, US health officials said Thursday. But it may be waning, Brammer said, as the level of influenza A H3N2 has increased.

Of the 28 flu-related childhood deaths across the country this season, three were in Florida.

"End-of-season vaccine effectiveness estimates could change as additional patient data become available or if a change in circulating viruses occurs later in the season", the report on vaccine effectiveness says. Flu vaccination prevented an estimated 10% of expected hospitalizations overall, though in young children aged 6 months to 4 years the benefits of vaccination were greatest, with 41% of all expected hospitalizations prevented by vaccination.

"CDC recommends that health care providers continue to administer influenza vaccine because influenza activity is ongoing and the vaccine can still prevent illness, hospitalization and death associated with now circulating influenza viruses, or influenza viruses that might circulate later in the season", the report says.

The most common type of flu around is still the influenza A strain H1N1.

Measles Outbreak Claims 70 Lives in the Philippines During 2019
Clark County Public Health has been regularly updating its list of locations where people may have been exposed to measles. Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) has confirmed a second case of measles in Vancouver this month.

It's not too late to get a flu shot.

Last winter was the deadliest USA flu season in more than four decades. An estimated 80,000 Americans, including 180 children, died of flu and its complications, the CDC reported. Last year, the vaccine's effective rate was 32 percent.

The CDC also recommends antiviral medication for people "with confirmed or suspected influenza who have severe, complicated, or progressive illness; who require hospitalization; or who are at high risk for influenza complications".

For the first time, the CDC is providing flu prevalence estimates, and as of February 2, the authors wrote, influenza is estimated to have caused 9,600-15,900 deaths and 155,000-186,000 hospitalizations.

Unlike last winter, when flu killed and hospitalized more people in the United States than any seasonal influenza in decades, this season's flu is considered significantly less harsh, according to officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Other tips include washing your hands, covering your cough and staying home if you're sick.

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