Flu Blamed for 84 Child Deaths This Season — CDC

Feb 21, 2018, 00:30
Flu Blamed for 84 Child Deaths This Season — CDC

This season's flu vaccine is nearly twice as effective overall, at 36 percent, according to a midseason estimate released Thursday by CDC.

In addition, this season has resulted in the death of at least 53 children from the flu, according to the CDC.

As was the case during the 2012-2013 flu season, many experts have raised concerns that the strain used to make the preventative medicine had mutated during its production in eggs, rendering it ineffective. The amount of people visiting the doctor is just lower than during the infamous "swine flu" pandemic between 2008 and 2009. "But there still is a lot of flu happening out there", Dr. Daniel Jernigan, the CDC's influenza chief, told the Associated Press. It's been reported that the flu season could last several more weeks, leading into spring.

In all, the 2016-17 flu season in New Mexico saw 222 deaths: 27 adult flu deaths and 195 pneumonia deaths.

Although the CDC estimates thousands have fallen ill, vaccine maker's profits remain healthy. So even when the vaccine is a good match for a given year, if someone has a history with the flu, the immune response to a new vaccine could be less protective.

Americans continue to rush to doctor's offices and emergency rooms this flu season while drug companies report strong profits. This does not include the effectiveness at preventing the other types of flu, nor does it begin to touch on how well the vaccine might lessen the severity of symptoms if the vaccinated individual gets the flu. Across the US, it's 7.5 percent, which is the same as what it was last week.

Have you suffered from a Vaccine related shoulder injury or autoimmune disorder? But health officials at the University Health Center are still urging students to get flu shots.

The health center is also increasing its student health center service fee by $7 under the university's proposed tuition increases in order to fund more health and counseling services.

The CDC says the flu can peak as early as mid November and as late as March. Vaccines use a live strain of the virus harvested from eggs in a laboratory. In the weekly surveillance report, 22 deaths were added to the flu-related statistics involving children.

Cook and her fellow pharmacy classmates put on a free flu clinic late a year ago. Some proved more effective than others.

Similar to the common cold, the flu can cause symptoms including fever over 100.4 F, feeling the chills, cough, sore throat, headache, runny nose, nasal congestion, body aches, and feeling fatigue.

The vaccines are marketed under the names Fluzone High-Dose and Fluad.

These vaccines grew in cells, not eggs. That season, public health officials believed that adaptations in egg-grown vaccines were the problem. Randomised controlled trials in the U.S. have found it is 24% more effective than the regular trivalent influenza vaccine.

Researchers are racing to develop a so-called universal vaccine.

H3N2 - Dubbed "Aussie flu" after it struck Australia hard last winter, this strain is more likely to affect the elderly, who do not respond well to the current vaccine.

This month, Sanofi inked a $155 million deal with SK Chemicals to license the company's technology to produce a universal vaccine.

Older people, ages 65 and above, and young children are especially at risk from the flu, said Gustafson, and so are those with chronic health conditions such as heart disease.