Flu widespread in 46 states; 9 more kids' deaths reported

Flu widespread in 46 states; 9 more kids' deaths reported

Flu widespread in 46 states; 9 more kids' deaths reported

"We hopefully are approaching the peak but we may not be there yet".

Flu activity has been moderate so far this season, according to a recent report from the CDC. The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) reminds everyone that influenza vaccine is the most important preventive measure against the flu.

Last week, Duke University Health System hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers began barring visits from most children under age 18 and requiring that patients receive no more than two adult visitors at a time as precaution against the flu.

Unlike, say, measles, flu presents special challenges for vaccines.

The flu season is not over yet, but it appears that the flu vaccine has been working quite alright.

This year is not an exception. The CDC uses information from this network to routinely estimate effectiveness of the flu vaccine as the season progresses. The vaccine's effectiveness was estimated to be 43% against illness caused by influenza A (H3N2) virus and 73% against influenza B virus.

This effectiveness is almost on par with that seen in last year's shot.

Influenza season runs through May 1.

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'Still, we can do a lot of good with a pretty good vaccine available today'.

Four different flu viruses are circulating in the state, but the most prevalent in lab testing is the A (H3) strain. Everyone can benefit from getting a flu vaccine, but it is especially important for people at high risk for serious illness or death from influenza including babies and young children, the elderly and pregnant women as well as healthcare workers and family and friends of anyone at high risk. "Which is about what it was previous year".

This year's flu vaccine is well-matched to the strains of flu that are circulating.

The US findings mesh with vaccine effectiveness results seen elsewhere this season.

Researchers looked at data from late November to early February from 3,144 children and adults, about half of whom were vaccinated, to see who sought medical treatment for flu-like symptoms.

During the 2015-16 season, vaccine effectiveness was 47 percent - similar to this season. A 7 year-old girl in Fulton County, and 6 year-old Eva Harris from Rocky River died from flu related illnesses.

Trivalent vaccines protect against two influenza A strains, H1N1 and H3N2, and one influenza B strain.

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