Flu Deaths Rise As CDC Unsure if We've Hit Peak Season

Flu season is breaking records CDC says

Flu vaccination also may make illness milder if you do get sick.

The researchers pondered over the question of why the previously healthy babies ran a swifter course to death due to flu with shorter illnesses.

But according to one public health official, the demand for the flu shot hasn't increased.

In addition, the medical community faces significant challenges in upcoming flu seasons, according to the expert panel at the forum.

Lipsitch added another caution about "misplaced" research priorities, citing the recent reinstatement of federal funds for a type of experiment that artificially enhances flu viruses in the lab to understand how they become pandemic strains.

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"Hopefully the B strain we are shifting to is covered in the vaccine", Schulz said.

The team compared the data from the smart thermometers to influenza-like illness (ILI) activity data gathered by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from health care providers across the country. Most insurance plans cover flu shots with no copay. "While we need to get flu vaccines every year because the viruses keep changing, the pneumococcal vaccines are more long-lasting", says Schuchat. In past seasons such as this, she said, an estimated 34 million Americans got the flu. So far 63 children have died this season.

"If things continue like they are right now, we will have even more hospitalizations this year", said Dr. Anne Schuchat.

Influenza has been widespread and severe throughout the nation this flu season.

Speaking on Monday after a meeting of the department's scientific committee on vaccine-preventable diseases, Centre for Health Protection controller Dr Wong Ka-hing said the panel had agreed that doses meant for the southern hemisphere could be used to address the city's shortage.

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This year's flu, H3N2, is particularly strong as the flu vaccine distributed this year was not an optimal match for the virus circulating and has created a stir of the virus across the United States, rather than in pocketed regions as normally demonstrated in flu seasons past.

Individuals infected with the influenza virus typically experience symptoms including fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headaches, and fatigue.

The season has been dominated by the H3N2 flu strain, which usually is more virulent, but the virus itself doesn't seem to be much different from previous H3N2 strains.

Besides getting the flu vaccine and washing your hands, Benard said the best way to avoid getting sick is to stay away from people who have the flu.

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