Published: Tue, January 29, 2019
Medicine | By Ray Hunter

3 more kids die of influenza: US CDC report

3 more kids die of influenza: US CDC report

Also, according to Richard K. Zimmerman, MD, MPH, professor of family medicine, and associate professor of behavioral and community health sciences, University of Pittsburgh, flu vaccine rates dropped 40 percent a year ago, and 79,000 people in the United States died from the flu (the typical number is 23,000).

A total of 22 influenza-associated pediatric deaths have been reported for the 2018-2019 influenza season, according to CDC.

Overall, the effectiveness of last year's flu shot was estimated to be 40 percent, meaning getting vaccinated reduced an individual's risk of seeking medical care by 40 percent.

Hall says this looks to be a long flu season. This year we have had very little "B" but that's not to say we won't see it.

Danuta Skowronski, the lead researcher for the influenza team at the BCCDC, explains that although viruses are very hard to predict, researchers were anticipating and ready for an H1N1-dominant season.

The mid-season vaccine efficacy estimate was only 20 per cent past year during the H3N2-dominant flu epidemic, the study said.

Influenza immunizations are available free of charge to all Albertans older than six months. Flu season typically lasts through the middle of the spring.

"Some years Calgary is affected earlier, some years Edmonton is affected earlier".

"The vaccine is not flawless", said Schaffner.

According to the BC CDC, the H1N1 virus tends to have the most effect children and non-elderly adults, while the H3N2 strain is more of a problem for the elderly.

According to data from the Public Health Agency of Canada, at least seven children under age 10 died from complications of influenza as of January 12.

Further, the Center for Disease Control shows that last flu season, stretching from fall 2017 into spring 2018, almost 200 deaths in Kansas were directly linked to the flu.

Australia used the same vaccine components as those given to Canadians and found it to be 78 per cent effective in preventing H1N1 infection among those who were vaccinated.

"As the season goes on we really get an idea of what strain is circulating and when we saw that was the case, we're seeing what we expected, that it would be younger and middle-aged people that were struck with worse illnesses from the flu", said Waters.

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