Last Flu Season Was The Deadliest In Four Decades — CDC

Last Flu Season Was The Deadliest In Four Decades — CDC

Last Flu Season Was The Deadliest In Four Decades — CDC

The convenience factor also plays into ongoing discussion about whether the vaccine's protection will wane if people get it early in the season.

"We lost 80,000 people previous year to the flu", Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told The Associated Press on Tuesday. Flu activity traditionally begins to increase in October and can last as late as May, with cases typically peaking between December and February.

The 2017-2018 season was driven by a flu strain, known as the H3N2 virus, which tends to put more people in the hospital and cause more deaths, particularly among young children and the elderly.

"We can see influenza all year round -- 12 months out of the year", Dr. Jennifer Ashton said on "Good Morning America".

Vaccines are offered by many doctor's offices, clinics, health departments, and pharmacies.

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Private manufacturers, which produce the vaccine, have projected needing between 163 million and 168 million doses of injectable vaccine for the US market for the 2018-2019 flu season.

According to the CDC, it's hard to predict the timing, severity and length of a flu season.

"Kids have a lot of snot, they have a lot of drool and they go to school", she said over laughter from the audience.

The flu vaccine may take up to two weeks to become effective, so getting it earlier in the season is ideal, OHA disease and vaccine experts say. This means the flu vaccine reduced a person's risk of having to seek medical care by 40%, the CDC found.

The vaccine performed better against some strains than others.

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The number is thought to be the highest death toll for the flu since the winter of 1976-77.

Dr Linda Diggle, head of preventative programmes at Health, said this year the department was rolling out three extra measures to try to keep the "unpredictable" flu virus under control. Most of this year's vaccines cover four strains.

And it has also revealed that Islanders aged 65 and over will received a "turbo-charged" vaccine, while pregnant women and those with long-term health conditions such as diabetes will have a "gold standard" jab that will protect them against four strains of virus.

As of September 9, Australia is experiencing a mild flu season with person-to-person transmission of flu-like illness "increasing slowly" since July, according to that nation's most recent surveillance report.

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