State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker is urging New Yorkers six months of age and older who have not yet received a flu shot to get vaccinated as soon as possible as much of the state grapples with a rise in active cases of the flu.
Unveiling the sobering statistics on Friday morning, CDC officials insisted it is not too late to get the flu shot, despite evidence that this year's vaccine is only 30 percent effective against H3N2. "More than 90 percent of beds are filled within those public health districts", says Dr. Scott Harris, of the Alabama Department of Public Health.
Haggie says there are suggestions that one of the four strains of the virus contained in this year's influenza vaccine is less than flawless. Health department spokesman Shannon Lands said the child tested positive for Influenza A.
Influenza A H3N2 is what's known as "a non-human influenza virus that normally circulates in pigs", according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Officials warn if you have flu-like symptoms you should not visit patients in hospitals or nursing homes.
"It looks like it's starting to level out", said the CDC's Lynnette Brammer, who oversees flu tracking. So there's a chance the season could slow down quickly or end early, making it a more normal flu season. It's still the best protection against H3N2 flu and other flu strains, such as H1N1 and B viruses. The child died at Dayton Children's Hospital on Saturday, January 6th. That data will be made available sometime in February, but Jernigan said they will be more effective than what Australia saw during its flu season in 2017, when effective rates were at 10 percent.
The previous report, from data gathered December 23, stated that seven people had died from the flu in Travis County up to that point. Adults over the age of 65 were most likely to be hospitalized, at a rate of 98.0 per 100,000 population, almost doubling last week's rate of 56.6.
"We have a lot of flu season to get through still", Jernigan said.
"Our doctor recommended it, so I feel if that's what they suggest then that's what I'm going to do", said Laura Deaton. That particular strain, when widespread, has historically resulted in more hospitalizations and deaths reported in people at least 65 years old and younger children than compared to other age groups. The vaccine can also lessen the severity of illness in people who get sick.