Amid grim flu season, scientists work to find "holy grail" vaccine

The flu vaccine is only 10 percent effective this year. Blame eggs.

As flu cases multiply, hospital visits for flu-like symptoms had surged to almost 11 percent of all hospital visits statewide but have since dropped by half; the percentage peaked at just under 8 percent in the last flu season. That's down 18,250 from the week before.

Flu season in North Carolina runs into May, according to state health officials.

Like Pino, Dr. Richard Martinello, medical director of infection prevention and epidemiology at Yale-New Haven Hospital System, cautioned that the season is not yet over and people should remain cautious.

As the flu season brings record-breaking numbers of hospitalizations and deaths across the state, the Rogers County Health Department is offering flu shots at no cost to recipients. The agency recommends injections over nasal sprays, which the CDC has not recommended for the past two years because of lower effectiveness. Thirty percent of flu tests performed during that time were positive, and 61 percent of those were for influenza B.

Smith also said that running out of flu vaccinations can in fact be a good sign because it means that the Health Center did not have to waste any vaccines or money.

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Hodges said this flu is spread through the eyes, nose and mouth.

But the recent reports about the flu are making me rethink my decisions. At the end of last year's flu season, there were 218 deaths.

It also made an appearance during the 1997-1998 and 2003-2004 flu seasons and was once again bad.

The CDC said they believe in the USA, a better indicator is the vaccine's effectiveness previous year. "Among the repository viruses we see each year, the flu has the largest impact", he said. "Clearly, this is more motivation and we really want to try to find something which eliminates this disease", Palese said. A flu shot is encouraged for anyone over the age of 6 months who hasn't been immunized.

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