Published: Sat, January 26, 2019
Medical | By Vicki Mclaughlin

This season's flu shot far more effective than last year's, researchers find

This season's flu shot far more effective than last year's, researchers find

A review of health tracking data by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield says there are more than a thousand fewer cases of flu so far this season in NY than at this point last flu season.

Flu season generally lasts into March or even April, Henry adds.

The flulike illness surveillance map, which also tracks clinic visits for flu, shows that activity is high in 18 states, up from 9 in the previous week.

The average age of an adult hospitalized for the flu in the Island Health region past year was 72.

In the 2017-18 influenza season, there were 29 influenza-related deaths in Iowa almost 600 hospitalizations by January 13.

Many people thought the flu season was over, however, it was never officially announced as being over and Waters said a second wave of the H1N1 influenza strain hit about three weeks ago.

Skowronski said children have been disproportionately affected by influenza this year, with kids under age nine making up 28 per cent of the 661 cases analyzed for vaccine effectiveness, even though children comprise only about 10 per cent of the country's population. It was much the same last flu season. While this year is no exception, one flu death in California is getting attention. Why?

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The weekly flu report published Friday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that three additional children died in the week ending January 19.

Flu activity increased over the past week, squelching hopes of an early peak and leading at least 12 states to shut down some schools.

The department of health defines a flu-related death as a "death resulting from a clinically compatible illness that was confirmed to be influenza by an appropriate laboratory or rapid diagnostic test with no period of complete recovery between the illness and death".

It is not too late for Iowans to receive a flu shot if they have not already done so, Pedati said.

"The flu can be a serious illness", she said.

A seasonal flu vaccine is recommended for everyone aged six months and older. Other symptoms to watch for may include chest congestion, loss of appetite, cough, sore throat and runny nose.

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