Flu Vaccine 36 Percent Effective So Far — CDC

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Community Health Coordinator Mary Connolly will administer vaccinations throughout the rest of this week by appointment.

During week four in Hawaii, two clusters of influenza B were reported to the state department.

"I urge everyone to get their child or children immunized", Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini said.

People who contract the flu can become contagious from one day before becoming sick and up to seven days after. "Hospitals continue to report large numbers of sick patients and providers are reporting high numbers of patient visits due to flu and flu-like symptoms". Hospitalizations are also at record levels. That would be 2014-2015, when the CDC reported a 19% flu prevention rate and blamed a mismatch between the strains in the vaccine and the ones causing illness. This year, all the strains are known, even expected.

Also encouraging is news that the H3N2 strain of flu is becoming somewhat less common, relative to the other strains that are more easily quelled by the vaccine. When well matched to circulating viruses, its effectiveness is about 60 percent. The doctor may prescribe antiviral medications, which work best when started early in the illness. "That's higher than we typically see for H3N2", Belongia tells The Washington Post. That could explain why children have been responding better to this season's vaccine.

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The CDC's final data analysis will be released by the end of the 2017-2018 flu season.

Cattaraugus County confirmed 54 additional reports of the flu within the last seven days, adding an nearly 20 percent increase to the seasons total. There were 34 deaths reported between January 28 and February 3.

According to the most recent reports from state health departments, the flu is still a potent force in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. And 53 percent of those who did not have flu had been vaccinated. All employees are also required to get the flu shot.

"Getting the flu shot is the same kind of sensible precaution as buckling your seatbelt", said Health Secretary Alex Azar.

"My wife got nervous after learning about the death of a little girl from Golden Hill", Richard Kanan said.

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People with underlying health conditions who are between the ages of 2 and 64 should consult their doctor about which vaccines they should receive and when.

So far, there have been more than 8,000 confirmed flu cases in the state this season.

"It's mostly to protect my granddaughter, who has a low immune system", Woolf said. According to the CDC's website, up to 166 million flu vaccines were produced this year.

"This flu season continues to be extremely challenging and intense", said Schuchat. Manufacturers grow flu viruses in chicken eggs. One is grown in dog kidney cells, and the other is a synthetic virus grown in insect cells. Gottlieb said scientists at the FDA, CDC and National Institutes of Health are trying to understand why. The CDC's midseason estimates of vaccine effectiveness against H1N1 is 67 percent and against B viruses 42 percent. Researchers have made progress in understanding how to thwart the virus' ability to constantly mutate. But experts say the effort is likely to take many more years.

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