Minnesota reports three new child deaths as flu season worsens

Minnesota reports three new child deaths as flu season worsens

"People should continue getting vaccinated and taking other preventive measures to prevent getting sick". The number of children and adults who received a flu shot by early November 2017 was substantially lower - by 3.7 percent - than in previous years at the same time. The numbers were worse for H3N2. "Protection is higher against other strains included in the vaccine and can help flu illness be milder and shorter for those who still get sick". Even if people still have symptoms, he said, shots usually reduce the odds of severe disease and hospitalization.

New Brunswick Public Health says they noticed people started getting the flu in October when the season normally starts toward the end of December.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends antiviral drugs be used early to treat people who are very sick with the flu (for example, people who are in the hospital) and people who are sick with the flu and are at high risk of serious flu complications due to their age or because they have a high-risk medical condition.

She said the doses of vaccine she still had on hand don't expire until May 31. A study in Australia suggested the vaccine would be only about 10 percent effective against the H3N2 virus, and a preliminary study from Canada two weeks ago put that figure at 17 percent. Everybody else got no statistically significant benefit. Most seniors were first exposed to H1N1 viruses and their bodies seem to handle them better, but H3N2 viruses - which didn't spread broadly in the United States until the late 1960s - seem to be harder for their bodies to deal with.

Scott Gottlieb, the commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), noted in a statement released on Thursday that, "it has been an especially challenging season, with high rates of hospitalization for both influenza and its complications".

The most common symptoms of flu are fever, cough, and sore throat.

Get the flu vaccine as soon as possible.

Lubbock Impact offering free flu shots on Friday
Shelby Crossing Clinic offering free flu vaccinations Friday

And that has many people asking, "Why is it so deadly?"

Still, experts said the current vaccine offers some protection against H3N2. Flu strains mutate every year. Each year, they're prepared for when flu season rolls around. The CDC estimated that it had led to more than 17,000 hospitalizations through February 3.

So far, there have been more than 8,000 confirmed flu cases in the state this season. Hospitals in Fauquier and Prince William counties are reporting higher numbers of the illness compared to past year. Among the 54 whose vaccination status was known, 74 percent had not been vaccinated. Last flu season there were two pediatric flu-related deaths in MA.

"We know in general that people that are younger and healthy can have better responses to vaccines than people who are older or very young", said Dr. Michelle Barron, medical director of infection prevention and control at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital.

The 15 deaths were reported to the Health Department in a seven-day span ending Tuesday.

"What we need are new approaches to vaccination", including, eventually, a universal vaccine that protects against all strains, for multiple years, Monto said.

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