Flu widespread in 46 states; 9 more kids' deaths reported

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And a far better match to circulating strains than the flu vaccine of two seasons ago.

The predominant virus strain this season is influenza A (H3N2) strain; the estimated effectiveness of the vaccine in preventing illness caused by that strain was 43%.

"There hasn't been a lot of flu activity up until these recent cases".

From Oct. 2 through February 11, according to the Department of Health, there are 62 reported cases of influenza in Potter County, 56 in McKean County, 38 in Elk County and six in Cameron County. Patients who could benefit from them include children younger than 2 years old; adults 65 and older; people with chronic medical conditions including asthma, heart disease, or weakened immune systems; pregnant women; American Indians/Alaska Natives; and people who are morbidly obese. The temporary restrictions apply at Duke University, Duke Regional and Duke Raleigh hospitals, as well as the Duke Ambulatory and the James.

And this week, a bit of good news about the influenza vaccine.

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A total of 20 influenza-associated pediatric deaths have been reported this season nationwide. "But the best estimate we can come up with is we only spend about $35 million globally on ... research on new game-changing flu vaccines". "It's better to be protected and have 50 percent less chance of getting sick from the flu than to be completely vulnerable to the flu", Rigler said.

Public health authorities, by the way, are saying there are weeks left in this year's flu season, and you should still get the shot if you haven't yet. He did not have exact numbers on flu cases Banner already has seen this season.

That's good, the agency said, because it means the shots are reducing by almost half an individual's risk of getting sick enough with the flu to need to go to the doctor. Dr. Karen Landers, ADPH, states, "It is not too late to vaccinate for flu and reduce the risk of illness".

Clinics in Arkansas are experiencing a high level of flu and flu-like illnesses in the state, which is consistent with the high level of flu being seen throughout the country. The Shelby County Health Department also wants to remind people to wash their hands often and stay home if they are feeling sick to limit the spread of the flu.

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