FDA Commissioner Prepares For Next Flu Season

FDA Commissioner Prepares For Next Flu Season

It was this strain that caused much of the influenza-related illness this flu season.

With about two months left in the flu season, which typically runs from November through the end of April, local officials say vaccination is still a good idea - even amid talk of this season's vaccine being less effective than in a typical year.

Flu season is something everyone needs to take seriously, and taking precautions benefits communities across the state.

"As it's turning out, the majority of the kids nationally who died from the flu did not get the vaccine", said Douglas. In 2014-15, the vaccine effectiveness was less than 20 percent, but the shot was still estimated to prevent between 11,000 and 144,000 hospitalizations and between 300 to 4,000 deaths, according to the CDC.

A flu shot, manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur, is displayed for a photograph at Perry Memorial Hospital in Princeton, Ill., Oct. 12, 2017. One recent CDC study found about 50 percent of the pediatric flu deaths occurred in otherwise healthy children, and 78 percent of those children had not been fully vaccinated.

"Pneumonia is a very common secondary infection that people get after having had the flu and you can only test for flu for a very short period of time", Anton said. That can make it hard to determine when the most active part of the season is over.

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"What we learn about the differences in efficacy between these different vaccines might reveal information that can inform why overall effectiveness against H3N2 was lagging", Gottlieb said. However, when the H3N2 virus is the dominant strain, vaccine effectiveness isn't as strong, Vox reports.

"I think it will promote even further immunization of children with influenza vaccine and that's just terribly, terribly important", said Schaffner.

"If you get the flu, you could do OK, but you might spread it to someone who might not do so well", Powell said. "Every so often we get a little blip in the spring". And why have vaccines in prior seasons when H3N2 circulated, also delivered reduced protection against this particular flu strain?

"We're seeing the flu in everybody, of all ages".

Most adults start to be contagious with the flu about one day before their symptoms start and remain contagious for 5 to 7 days after, according to the CDC. "We could be looking at a couple more weeks of higher activity".

It's "not too late to get vaccinated if you have not yet done so, given that we are starting to see a larger proportion of illnesses caused by H1N1 and B influenza, for which vaccines offer better protection", Gottlieb said.

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