Influenza now "prevalent" in New York State, state health commissioner says

Adjust Comment Print

That's the mantra of Dr. Zane Saul, Bridgeport Hospital's chief of infectious disease.

Flannery explained that the journal article looked at Australia's most recent flu season and highlights the low vaccine effectiveness against one type of influenza: the H3N2 strain predominating in the U.S. today. He says the vaccine is especially important for people at high risk of complications from flu, including children under 2, pregnant women and adults over 65. It doesn't work!' " Saul said.

"The best prevention against the flu is to receive the vaccine".

Meanwhile, flu activity in CT is climbing steadily.

In the United States last season, overall vaccine effectiveness against all circulating flu viruses was 39 percent and the effectiveness was only a bit lower, 32 percent, against H3N2 viruses. There were no deaths.

According to a collaborative multinational study involving the CDC and published this week in the Lancet, a British journal, between 291,000 and 646,000 people worldwide die from seasonal influenza-related respiratory illnesses each year, higher than a previous estimate of 250,000 to 500,000. The article cites reports from Australia, where there have been record-high numbers of laboratory-confirmed influenza notifications and outbreaks and higher than average numbers of hospitalizations and deaths.

So far, there have been 612 influenza-related hospitalizations reported this season, and no reports of pediatric deaths from influenza.

The first full week of the holiday shopping season saw a spike in the number people coming down with influenza in the St. Louis area. The vaccine is the same formula that was used during Australia's most recent flu season- which is similar to what the USA will face.

Flu season is back, which means it's time to protect yourself and loved ones by getting a free flu shot.

"That being said, the authors of the preliminary Australian study did make a point of saying in their article that annual vaccination remains the most effective way to prevent influenza infection each year", Lantrip said in an email.

According to the CDC, influenza A viruses have been the most commonly identified to date this season, with influenza A (H3N2) the most dominate. "It may well be that somebody got vaccinated on Monday and on Wednesday they got a cold, and what they'll do is attribute that cold to having received the vaccine, but there's no connection". Don't let the flu stop you from enjoying the holidays.

In Connecticut, influenza A viruses are dominating in the state, as they are nationwide.

Common respiratory diseases related to seasonal influenza that can cause death include pneumonia and bronchitis.