Year-old child dies from the flu, officials say

Know flu symptoms how to protect self         Herald Staff     Wednesday

Many have voiced concerns that the current flu vaccine is only 10 percent effective, said Rodriguez, but that isn't true. The CDC report found that the current vaccine is 67 percent effective against the other influenza A strain, H1N1, and 42 percent effective against influenza B viruses.

In Rhode Island, 24 people have died of flu-related illness so far this flu season. A different CDC team looked at wider reports and found that only about a quarter of people showing up to the doctor's office with flu-like symptoms actually had influenza.

Previous reports have shown that the old-fashioned technology used to make most flu vaccines - it involves growing the virus in eggs before making it into vaccines - might cause parts of the H3N2 strain to mutate, making it a poor match for the circulating flu viruses. The vaccine provided 59 percent protection against H3N2 in children 8 and younger. Everybody else got no statistically significant benefit.

This year's predominant strain is an H3N2 Influenza A virus, which tends to be more severe than others.

Geographic spread of influenza-like illness (ILI) in Alabama.

Flu symptoms hit suddenly, but even then, it's best to go to the doctor for an examination. "Everybody should get a vaccine because even when it doesn't work great, it's still a preventative", Solomon said.

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

Scully said the child was a student at Golden Hill Elementary School and said additional counseling staff were assigned to the school Tuesday morning and would be on call throughout the rest of the week. According to the CDC's website, up to 166 million flu vaccines were produced this year. Canadian researchers estimated a 17% effectiveness rate.

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Still, it counts as one of the most intense flu seasons in more than a decade. For the last week of confirmed data (Jan. 28 through February 3), the CDC reported the highest rate of hospitalization for flu ever recorded since the current system was implemented in 2005.

Almost 3,000 Americans have died from influenza or flu-related complications since the flu season began in October, including 107 Pennsylvanians. "If 50 percent of the population were protected, one way or another, we could essentially prevent an influenza epidemic", he said. Last flu season there were two pediatric flu-related deaths in MA.

A flu warning sign and a hand sanitizer station now greet visitors in the lobby of Cooper University Hospital in Camden as the hospital deals with an unusually busy flu season.

Shelby County experienced a peak of flu activity around mid-December.

As emergency rooms across the country continue to be swamped with flu patients, ME hospital officials are expecting this year's flu onslaught to become even more severe, according to a Bangor Daily News report.

Officials say there were two flu-related child deaths in the state last flu season.

This year's flu season has been particularly troubling for Americans, with numbers surging to levels comparable to the swine flu pandemic that ravaged the 2009, according to The Washington Post. The highest total was in 2014-15, when 221 deaths were reported. It also did a better job of protecting younger people.

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