In light of panic over reports of the vaccine's effectiveness, the CDC reported that it expects the American vaccine to be 32 percent effective against the H3N2 virus, but this week saw the flu become highly active in 21 states.
"We extend our deepest sympathies to the child's family", said State Epidemiologist Dr. Zack Moore. It also maintains that an annual flu vaccine is the the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses.
Based on numbers provided by the state health department, the flu typically peaks around the third week of February.
In its chart comparing clinic visits this year to the past five seasons, the pattern seems to be closely following the moderate-to-severe 2014-2015 season, which was also dominated by H3N2.
Chilly weather could be contributing to the state's 'widespread' flu epidemic
This year it is speculated that the vaccine may only be about 10% effective. "That generally differentiates from a flu to a cold". These usually dissipate within two days and are considered a normal reaction to being injected with latent strains of the virus.
The South and West reported seeing the highest rates of patients with flu-related symptoms.
Three more pediatric flu deaths were reported, raising the total to 12 this season.
"We all know the flu shot is not 100 per cent but it's still the best protection out there that we know of so we still recommend the flu shot".
'If it continues to be the predominant type, we could expect that'.
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Radtke says the increased cases this season are partly caused by a mismatch between the vaccine and the flu strain circulating.
An Asheville hospital has implemented its visitor limitation policy after an increase in flu-like activity. Levels of hospitalizations and deaths are highest in seniors, and since early November, surveillance has reported above-average hospitalizations for flu among children.
At the recommendation of the Illinois Department of Public Health, Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers is implementing temporary visitor restrictions effective immediately.
At sentinel healthcare sites, the percentage of respiratory specimens that tested positive for flu rose from 28% to 32% compared to the previous week.
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