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Flu killed 22 children last week in US

20 February 2018, 08:18 | Lucy Hill

Free stronger flu vaccine for older Australians after 2017's deadly outbreak

A graph released by the CDC shows the number of pediatric deaths each year since 2014 that killed 148 children. So far there are 84 reported pediatric deaths in the US

Across the state, hospital emergency rooms are dealing with the influx of patients by adding extra staff and resources, the Georgia Hospital Association said earlier this week.

Unlike in other areas of the country, there have, fortunately, been no pediatric flu deaths this season.

It's also essential to practice good hand hygiene, the agency said, because, "unlike some viruses, influenza is easily killed by soap and hot water". In fact, we may be starting to experience a second peak in flu activity now.

Traditional rapid flu tests, still the most common type, requires a swab deep in the nasal cavity and are just 50-70 percent accurate, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"We are doing everything we can to ensure the availability and affordability of the flu vaccine, and I encourage everyone to stay vigilant and get vaccinated".

Low effectiveness of the flu vaccine is often blamed on problems with how the vaccine is designed and produced. The data, which only goes back to 2010, shows that as of January, 2018 has the highest amount of laboratory confirmed influenza hospitalizations out of the last eight years.

Between classes, clubs and sports, the last thing any college student needs is to be knocked out for two weeks from the flu.

Several companies produced 12 different vaccines for the 2017-18 flu season, STAT News reported.

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These new vaccines work in over 65s by generating a strong immune response and are more effective for this age group in protecting against influenza.

The Victoria B virus is included in the "three strain" vaccine. Using large databases covering millions of individuals, including one from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the FDA is able to look into whether there are any unexpected findings.

Instead, the human immune system seems to pick up on the presence of a flu strain - from either the vaccine or the flu itself - and respond as if it were whatever the first strain it encountered had been.

Figures released Thursday suggest this year's flu vaccine has worked fairly well in children younger than 9. Better understanding why the cell-based vaccine offered better protection against H3N2 this season, when compared to the egg-based vaccine, may offer important clues to help improve the production of a more effective H3N2 vaccine for next season.

The US is now seeing an increase in influenza B activity, Dr Schuchat said. Flu season begins in the Southern Hemisphere and then we get a sense of whether the guesswork was accurate.

Both vaccines will be available through the National Immunisation Program Immunisation Program following a recommendation from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.

"Scientists at the FDA, CDC, and NIH are working diligently to fully understand the basis for this finding, so that all of next year's vaccines can provide better protection in preventing the flu", said Gottlieb.

Still, drugmakers are scrambling to produce a better vaccine called a "universal vaccine". They cite factors such as age, baseline health status and that year's vaccine "match" - the similarity between the viruses used to make the vaccine and the ones that are prevalent in a certain year.

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