Haverhill 1st grader MA first child flu death of season

CDC Vaccine Only 25% Effective Against Dominant Strain of Flu This Year			 0					By		Rob Senior

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In a year in which more than 50,000 Americans may die because of the flu and 63 child deaths have been reported, even imperfect vaccines are valuable, said Aaron Glatt, chairman of the department of medicine at South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside, N.Y. He is a spokesman for the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

The drug maker Shionogi said that its new flu treatment succeeds in 24 hours, at least according to a late-stage trial it conducted on American and Japanese patients, The Wall Street Journal reported.

But the good news is that it works better in kids. It's 42 percent effective against influenza B viruses and 67 percent effective against H1N1 viruses, according to the results of a study involving about 4,600 people.

The CDC said that the overall effectiveness of this year's vaccine is 36 percent. "People should continue getting vaccinated and taking other preventive measures to prevent getting sick".

Severe symptoms of the flu are high fever, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, confusion, sudden dizziness, severe vomiting or starting to feel better and then suddenly getting much worse.

Adults with flu can spread the virus one day before symptoms appear to approximately one week after.

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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. Among the 54 whose vaccination status was known, 74 percent had not been vaccinated.

A steady stream of mostly children accompanied by their parents showed up at the Citizens Center after school on Wednesday to receive their flu shots.

Jennifer Thomas, nursing director and administrator at the Mason County Health Department, said flu season can begin as early as September and last as long as April.

"Even with current vaccine effectiveness estimates, vaccination will still prevent influenza illness, including thousands of hospitalizations and deaths", scientists from the CDC reported in the issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published Thursday. That data will come later.

This kind of virus tends to cause more suffering and have been responsible for the worst recent flu seasons. And it was 42 percent effective against Type B flu viruses.

The CDC tested the now approved antiviral medications oseltamivir (brand name Tamiflu), peramivir (Rapivab) and zanamivir (Relenza Diskhaler) against the now circulating flu strains.

In a statement following the release of the report, FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb announced an upcoming meeting with an expert panel for the selection of strains to be used in formulating next season's vaccines. "There is a vaccine specific for people who are older that gives you a higher dose".

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