Flu Vaccine 36 Percent Effective So Far — CDC

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Cattaraugus County confirmed 54 additional reports of the flu within the last seven days, adding an nearly 20 percent increase to the seasons total.

One reason: This year's vaccine has been just 36 percent effective against both A and B virus strains, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated in Thursday's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Talk to your family doctor or call the Ashtabula County Health Department (440) 576-6010 for more information on the availablity of flu shots.

"If you think you're getting better and then it looks like it's not getting any better than you really do need to seek medical attention because it may now have gone to your lungs and you may now have a pneumonia", said Dr. Lolita McDavid of the Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, flanked by officials including the surgeon general, the head of the Food and Drug Administration and the acting head of the CDC, noted that he, his wife and children had been vaccinated and said "so has President Trump".

ADPH flu3
Geographic spread of influenza-like illness in Alabama

"Our best advice is to get a flu shot if you haven't already", Stumpf said.

"The vaccination is safe". "It is still your best defense".

The 2017-2018 flu season has been particularly brutal so far. The CDC report found that the current vaccine is 67 percent effective against the other influenza A strain, H1N1, and 42 percent effective against influenza B viruses.

Flu vaccines are a cocktail - they protect against either three or four strains of flu.

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Scientists are still trying to puzzle out why the vaccine was relatively ineffective this season.

Still, even with lower effectiveness against H3N2, "I would still take 25 percent over nothing any day of the week", Belongia said.

Flu remained widespread in every state except OR and Hawaii, the same as the week before. More potent yearly vaccines could make it through the pipeline sooner, he said. Marshfield is one of five USA sites measuring flu vaccine effectiveness. She was not involved in the CDC research. Immune responses differ by age, and previous infection or vaccination history can affect vaccine protection. "It seems like it's a little bit lighter on the West Coast".

In fact, Schuchat from the CDC told Fortune that the recent rise in flu activity will lead to more hospitalizations and deaths. Hospitalizations are also at record levels. The nation as a whole exceeded this rate during the week ending November 25 and has remained at or above it - ranging as high as 7.7 percent - for 11 consecutive weeks.

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"In severe seasons in the past over 700,000 people have been hospitalized and 56,000 people died from influenza". Of those patients hospitalized with an A strain infection, almost 86 percent were caused by the H3N2 strain. County health officials said 87percent of deaths in the region this season have been those over the age of 65. Eleven weeks into the flu season, it shows no signs of slowing down.

Thomas commented the health department is now out of adult strength flu shots, but flu shots for children aged 6 months to 18 years old can still be given.

The CDC tested the now approved antiviral medications oseltamivir (brand name Tamiflu), peramivir (Rapivab) and zanamivir (Relenza Diskhaler) against the now circulating flu strains.

Cover their coughs and sneezes. Those who get the shot, but still get sick, tend to have a less severe case and avoid a hospital stay.

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What that number means is that if you are vaccinated and you run into a flu virus, you have a 64 percent chance of getting sick.

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