Flu season shows signs of winding down

America's Nightmare Flu Season Is Finally Coming to an End

That's because the vaccine is more effective against other types of the flu that are also now circulating. Overall, preliminary vaccine effectiveness reported by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for H3N2 influenza was 25 percent, which means that people who received the vaccine were 25 percent less likely to be sick and need to see a doctor. "So if you haven't gotten your flu shot yet, it's still a good idea to get it and protect yourself, and to protect those people who are vulnerable to complications from influenza from getting the flu virus". Meanwhile, public officials are trying to make it clear that the vaccine itself can't cause the flu epidemic. Our current flu season is only about halfway through.

The flu hit the United States and Asia hard this year, with widespread reports of deaths and hospitalizations, but the effects in Europe have been mild, especially among USA forces, Coldren said.

This year's flu shot has been only 36 percent effective against major flu strains.

After two years, the nasal flu vaccine, sold under the trade name FluMist, will return to doctors' offices.

"We know the influenza vaccine is far from ideal, [but] it happens to be the best we have available now, and any degree of prevention and protection that we can get from using our pretty good vaccine ... helps mitigate the impact of influenza on our population, including in our schools", he added.

The four most prevalent flu strains include the H3N2, or the "Aussie flu" because of its spread last winter in Australia; the HINI, or "swine flu"; the "B/Yamagata", or Japanese flu; and the "B/Victoria" flu.

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The most recent statewide data show intensive care unit admissions and outpatient visits for influenza have decreased, according to an Illinois Department of Public Health report. The vaccine has been between 42 percent and 67 percent effective in fighting other types of flu, he said. "The vaccine is never ideal, but is does appear to still have some protectiveness to it".

This number is still below the 148 children who died from influenza in the 2014-2015 season.

According to the latest estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this season's flu vaccine is 36 percent effective overall against influenza and 25 percent effective against the predominant strain (H3) causing most of the infections in MS and the United States. Or perhaps culturing the vaccine via cells, compared to the conventional method of egg-based culturing, might make a difference, he suggested.

"We're hopeful if that continues we're past the worst part", said department spokeswoman Melaney Arnold.

"We're planning for the flu all year", Powell said.

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