Review of severe 2017-18 flu season shows drop in vaccination


Image Credit CFJC Today

2:52pm Image Credit CFJC Today

Lehan Drugs - a family-owned, multigenerational pharmacy opened in 1946, with locations at 1850 Gateway Drive, Sycamore; 1407 S. Fourth DeKalb; and 811 S. Perryville Road, Rockford - typically sees 1,500 to 2,000 people come in for flu shots in October and November.

The majority of influenza viruses characterized antigenically and genetically are similar to the cell-grown reference viruses representing the 2018-2019 Northern Hemisphere influenza vaccine viruses.

Why? Last year was one of the worst flu seasons on record, yet fewer Americans got a flu shot than in years past. "I take that as a good sign."ComplicationsAlthough the most extreme complication to influenza is death, particularly among the elderly and small children, it can include a variety of other factors."Sinus and ear infections are examples of moderate complications from flu, while pneumonia is a serious flu complication that can result from either influenza virus infection alone or from co-infection of flu virus and bacteria", according to the CDC."Other possible serious complications triggered by flu can include inflammation of the heart, brain, or muscle tissues, and multi-organ failure", according to the CDC". She is a research scientist with the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Population Health at the Marshfield Clinic Research Institute in Wisconsin. The previous high for a regular flu season, based on analyses dating back more than three decades, was 56,000 deaths. Although the severity of flu season can be unpredictable because flu viruses constantly are changing, the CDC reported that the flu vaccine is more readily available to people this year than ever before. In fact, the flu has already claimed the life of one child in Florida this year, she noted. Vaccines are also less effective against H3N2.

The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu shot.

The flu activity report was published October 26 in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The United States experiences annual epidemics of seasonal flu, a time of year the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) calls "flu season". That figure is almost double the 218 deaths reported during the 2016-17 flu season and six times the 59 reported deaths the year before. A flu shot for uninsured patients ages 6 months to 64 years costs $35. For more information on influenza or the availability of flu vaccine, Kentuckians should contact their primary care medical provider or local health department.

More news: 'Game of Thrones' Prequel Series Casts Naomi Watts as Lead
More news: Apu from ‘The Simpsons’ reportedly being dropped over racial stereotype complaints
More news: Sania Mirza, Shoaib Malik Welcome Baby Boy; "Humbled", Says Proud Father

It's still unclear what this coming flu season will be like. No new pediatric flu deaths were reported, keeping the total at one so far.

As we welcome the cooler weather and the beauty of foliage, we also need to think about taking precaution to the upcoming flu season.

"Lehan addressed common concerns regarding the vaccine, saying "[The flu vaccine] does not cause the flu since the viruses in the vaccine are dead".

The same flu shot-effectiveness pattern continued to unfold over the next two flu seasons, the investigators found. The best way to protect children under 6 months old from the flu is to make sure members of their household and their caregivers are vaccinated.

"Right now flu activity is low, with just a smattering of cases", said Dr. Alicia Fry.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.