Doctors work on universal flu vaccine

Doctors work on universal flu vaccine

Ronald Pratt
December 12, 2017

Some doctors simply say the flu is peaking sooner this year, but the effectiveness of this year's flu shot is also a concern.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), vaccines are less effective when it comes to the H3N2 virus strain, and more effective against H1N1 viruses. If you have the vaccination in a pharmacy they will take your details and let your GP practice know that you have had the vaccination. During last years flu season, less than 50 percent of people in the US reported having been vaccinated by the end of November, according to the CDC. So far this year: 93 cases. For a widespread declaration, Shelton said, at least half the districts in the commonwealth have to confirm the presence of flu through hospital emergency room records. The current rate of hospitalizations for influenza has increased to 12.9/100,000 population, according to information provided by epidemiologists at Panhandle Health District.

"Or it's possible we'll have more cases overall this year, " she continued.

For those who have not yet been vaccinated, this is a good time to do it, Collett said. Of those who tested positive for influenza (22%), 87% tested positive for influenza A and 13% for influenza B viruses. Between Nov. 26 and December 2, 105 specimens were tested for flu virus in North Idaho, and 25 came back positive. Ironically, the latter of the three has had a very strong resurgence this year in Australia, especially the northeastern state of Queensland. Its a safe and effective way to prevent illness and save lives by significantly limiting your likelihood of passing on flu symptoms to vulnerable loved ones, ” Collett said.

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MedExpress pointed to a November 29 perspective published by The New England Journal of Medicine that began: "As clinicians in the United States prepare for the start of another influenza season, experts have been watching the Southern Hemisphere winter for hints of what might be in store for us in the North. Reports from Australia have caused mounting concern, with record-high numbers of laboratory-confirmed influenza notifications and outbreaks and higher-than-average numbers of hospitalizations and deaths".

Those most at risk are young children, older adults and people with compromised immune systems.

What's more, American vaccine manufacturers look at the strain hitting Australia when producing the vaccines for the US, but that strain can mutate within the six to eight months the USA industry needs to produce the vaccines.

"I highly recommend the vaccine", Shelton said, noting that all the health district offices still have plenty of the vaccine available. The agency bills all insurances, including Medicare and Medicaid. "Luckily, most people who get sick with it will do okay". You will also need to use your sleeve or tissue to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.