Why It's Not Too Late to Get a Flu Shot

Why It's Not Too Late to Get a Flu Shot

The report notes that the number of severe illnesses among children younger than 18 years old and young adults ages 18 to 49 are also higher at this time when compared to other recent seasons.

This season began with a surge of influenza B, a strain that has hit children the hardest.

Health officials grew anxious when it became clear that the vaccine didn't match the Type B flu strain that ended up causing most early season illnesses.

But the CDC now says the cases of the two strands are about equal.

"Other countries have now adopted that methodology", she said.

Neither Schaffner nor Creech know why this year's influenza timeline is so different.

"This vaccine prevented about 60 per cent of cases of influenza that would have otherwise occurred in unvaccinated cases", Skowronski said.

That earlier influenza B peak may be one reason why there are more pediatric flu-related deaths than usual, according to Schaffner.

"Often influenza B is more likely to cause gastrointestinal symptoms than influenza A, though both can in young children", he said.

Minnesota has recorded its second child death of the flu season.

"It could just be a reflection of a particularly severe season", said Dr. Arnold Monto, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

"The mid-season VE of 44% we report for A (H1N1) pdm09 viruses during the 2019/20 season is lower than we reported mid-season in 2018/19 (72%) [8], 2015/16 (64%) [12] or 2013/14 (74%)", the authors wrote.

All major medical groups in the US recommend virtually all Americans age 6 months and older get the annual flu shot, saying that although it's not ideal, it remains the best way to protect against seasonal flu.

The CDC said the United States flu season started early-the earliest seasons since the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic year-in the first week of November, and is still now above baseline activities.

An adult in Wisconsin with a history of travel to Beijing, China, has contracted the coronavirus, the state health department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed on Wednesday.

Skowronski said the doctors are part of the Sentinel Practitioner Surveillance Network involved in helping to determine vaccine effectiveness.

Public health said the flu affects mostly children that are 6 months of age or younger because they can not get vaccinated. "Your risk of dying is less".

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