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Influenza now "prevalent" in New York State, state health commissioner says

15 December 2017

The CDC did not give reasons for the hike in estimates but said the study by it and global health partners was based on data from a larger, more diverse sample of countries than previously.

In a related commentary in the same Lancet issue, Sheena Sullivan, PhD, with the World Health Organization collaborating center and Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Melbourne, Australia, said the study provides a much-needed update to the earlier World Health Organization estimate. Seven children have died, and an additional 856 flu-related hospitalizations have occurred as of December 2, according to the CDC's weekly surveillance report.

Health officials say that flu season generally runs from October through May, often peaking in February. The team also used data from 14 countries to validate their estimates.

The National Institutes of Health recently said this year's flu shot might only be ten percent effective against one strain of the flu, but still doctors are advising vaccination.

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The strongest preventive action that individuals can take to protect themselves against the flu?

Howard Zucker says everyone over 6 months old is encouraged to get a flu shot as soon as possible.

The county reminds its residents there is no live virus in flu shots and the vaccine can not cause the flu.

When certain people get sick, they are at high risk of developing serious flu-related complications, such as pneumonia or bronchitis.

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The idea that the vaccine does not provide adequate protection against the virus has also been plastered across several headlines. Dr. Wallace said this is the best precautionary message for schools. "It always prevents many, many infections". Getting a flu shot cannot only help you, it can also help the people around you.

To date this season, there have been 517 influenza-associated hospitalizations in Canada, 89 per cent of which were associated with influenza A (H3N2), and 372 cases involved adults over the age of 65.

For the Lancet study, the investigators calculated age-specific mortality rates. Depending on how well matched the vaccine is to the virus, the CDC reports that vaccination can reduce the risk of flu illness by between 40 percent and 60 percent among the overall population.

Flu vaccine is available at Southcoast Health Urgent Care centers in Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Wareham and Seekonk, or ask your physician. The CDC says worldwide, flu deaths are spiking.

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This year's flu vaccine may not be as effective at protecting people against one of the most common, nasty strains of the flu.

Influenza now