CDC: Flu now 'widespread' in NC

They feel they have good results and they said it is not too late for people to get the shot.

With more than 14,000 cases reported nationwide each week, the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) is reminding Alabamians that influenza vaccine is the most important preventive measure against the flu. Age was reported for 13,306 patients: 7.9% were younger than 4 years old, 30.4% were between 5 and 24 years old, 30.3% were between 25 and 64 years old, and 31.5% were 65 or older. The vaccine's estimated effectiveness against the influenza B virus was 73%. "Of course, we know that some people who get the shot will still get the flu".

"It definitely looks like flu season is here", says Lynnette Brammer, an epidemiologist who is in charge of tracking the flu at the CDC. That's not bad, since the strain that's making most people sick is one of the worst. This season's Northern Hemisphere vaccines are on target, yet only offer 48% protection against medically attended influenza, according to CDC officials in a February 16 Community Outreach and Communication Activity conference call and webinar. But that can vary a lot, depending on where a person lives and how many strains are circulating, Brammer says.

Budd noted that influenza activity in the United States began to rise early last December, remained high through mid-January, and is expected to continue for several more weeks. But Moore said there's always a lag time in reported deaths, and he expects the number to be much higher by the end of flu season.

Dr. Louis Morledge, an internist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, agreed that it's still worthwhile to get a flu shot. You could have the flu. To do so, they consider which pathogens could be the biggest problems for the particular season.

"Nobody likes needles, including dogs", said professor Martinez-Sobrido, who led the discovery of the team as well as other researchers from Cornell and University of Glasgow on how to make modified live influenza vaccines for dogs, or live-attenuated canine influenza vaccine. But it's lower than the hospitalization rate during the 2014 to 2015 season, which was about 36 per 100,000 people around this time of year.

With flu continuing to occur through this month and into March, there's still flu that can be prevented or made less severe, said Schaffner. Fry characterized the current flu season as moderate. The flu shot is less effective for elderly people and those with underlying health conditions.



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