Sunday, 09 December, 2018

Relief from relentless flu season in sight

A person receiving a flu shot The flu vaccine is only 10 percent effective this year. Blame eggs.
| 06 March, 2018, 03:10

That figure includes a patient Edmundson once treated.

This flu season has been further complicated by the number of influenza strains circulating at the same, infectious disease specialists say. The H3N2 virus had predominated, and when that happens, there is usually a worse than usual epidemic, she said. "In terms of sheer numbers, kids bear the great burden of influenza disease". Rates of illness fluctuated by nation. "It's not typically the same all around, but I think this season seems a little bit more mixed", he said.

How the vaccine is manufactured could be a problem, however. In the United States, an interim season report found that the vaccine was just 36% effective in preventing the flu. And while scientists pursue the holy grail of a universal flu vaccine, they should also try to understand how our current production methods hamper the vaccines we have now. "Given the same H3N2 subtype [is circulating in the US], our estimate of low vaccine protection should also apply to the United States".

"Like previous seasons when H3N2 was dominant in the beginning of the season, we may see a late-season bump of influenza B", Nordlund said in an email.


One other reason the flu vaccine tends to underperform in H3N2 years has to do with. eggs.

The FDA is concerned that the virulence of this year's flu might tempt people to buy bogus or unreliable treatments from online pharmacies.

Before flu season begins, researchers study the influenza strains circulating in the southern hemisphere, allowing them to identify strains that could show up in North America. "That's assuming nothing changes between now and next winter".

Although no data is collected to indicate how many people receive flu vaccinations, Morrow said he believes that the low projected effectiveness rate of this year's vaccine - about 30-percent effective at preventing flu symptoms - has discouraged those who are innately wary of vaccinations. "Until we get those systems in place, there will be continuing struggles to get the right virus match".

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