Flu Season Expected To Be A Bad One

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The authors of the piece predicted that the United States could potentially experience a "severe" flu season - with higher rates of flu-related hospitalization, mortality, and overall infected people.

"The number of flu cases is relatively high for this time of year, and public health officials are concerned there will be a high risk of spreading the flu during the holiday season".

The most advanced universal flu vaccine candidate is only in the earliest stages of human clinical trials, and others are still being tested in animals.

Exploiting a previously unnoticed genetic mutation may restore the effectiveness of the popular nasal spray version of the flu vaccine. Study authors attributed this to the fact that 2009 monovalent pandemic vaccine did not become widely available until well after the peak of influenza illness had occurred. The flu vaccine utilized this year in Australia, has similar composition as the vaccine utilized in the US. The most common flu strain there was the influenza A virus known as H3N2, and the vaccine given to Australians had an effectiveness of only 10 percent, according to preliminary estimates.

Elizabeth Scott and her son, Anderson, get a flu shot every year, but she knows that it's not always helpful. The vaccine is made from genetically-engineered proteins.

FACT: Getting the flu vaccine, even later in the season, can still be beneficial.

MYTH 3: There's no point in getting the flu vaccine if it's later in the flu season.

Myth 4. Flu season is annoying but can't cause major harm.

FACT: Each year, the seasonal influenza vaccine includes the strains that researchers found will be most prevalent throughout the season. There are also immune-boosting influenza vaccines for those aged 65 and above, and preservative-free versions for pregnant women or those who are allergic to mercury.

Myth 2. You can't spread the flu when you don't feel sick. Some people never show any signs of flu symptoms and may act as carriers of the virus, infecting their loved ones.

The CDC estimated the influenza vaccine prevented over 40,000 flu-related deaths from 2005 to 2014, but the authors on the perspective concluded the scientists developing more influenza vaccines "can do better".