Arkansas flu deaths up by 15 since last week

Rebecca Gillespie

Medical experts warn about new flu strain emerging

In a typical flu season the annual vaccination will be effective in a little more than half of those receiving it. "So, while we may be seeing increases in respiratory illnesses in the state, they are not necessarily from influenza". It is not too late to get a flu shot.

While this year's vaccine is less effective than in previous years due to the variations of the flu virus and forecasting errors about which strain will dominate in any season, those who receive flu vaccinations will have less severe symptoms if they get sick. "This message was sadly encouraged by the antivaxxer community".

According to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, approximately 18,372 flu cases were confirmed from February 4-10. Canadian researchers estimated a 17% effectiveness rate. There are some indications, he said, that some vaccine production techniques produce better H3N2 protection than others do. The rest of their family being vaccinated is the first line of defense for that child because the child will come into contact less with potential transmitters of the illness. He said he hoped it was "a "tipping point" that will finally galvanize some long-needed improvements in how we produce this vaccine". Although some news sources have reported this year's vaccine is only expected to be 10 percent effect, CDC experts say that is incorrect for the U.S.

"Some vaccines have been produced by modern biotechnology, making just the proteins we need for the vaccine", he said. "But now we're seeing a surge in influenza B, so we're not sure what that's attributed to". "We can hope that the bad news about lower vaccine effectiveness this year will add momentum to these efforts". The good news is that the Hepatitis A vaccine is said to be 90 percent effective. Since last October, there have been over 18,068 laboratory-confirmed cases of Influenza A reported, and the disease has claimed the lives of 53 infants and children, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

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According to Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University, influenza and its complications mostly affect those ages 65 and older, and that age group accounts for 80 percent of deaths, according to "So people are getting real sick from the H3N2 type flu".

"Basically, we know that a virus mutates, so they (CDC) tweak the vaccines, take a well-educated guess and pick the top three or four (to address)", said Heaton of a national vaccine process.

"For this season, only 20 percent [of children who died from the flu] have been vaccinated, and half of these children were otherwise healthy", he said.

The mean age of children who died of influenza-associated causes was 7.4. CDC reported that they have been seeing an increasing proportion of H1N1 as well.

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