Thirty-six states are now experiencing high levels of flu activity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, as this year’s flu vaccine may not fully protect against a strain known as influenza A H3N2 that is currently circulating and tends to be more severe.
Fifteen children age 18 and under have died from the flu as of Dec. 20, compared with four such deaths around the same time last year, according to the CDC. A number of hospitals are outpacing previous years, with some restricting visitors to prevent the spread of the virus.
“Our medical director said that in his eight years at the hospital, he had never seen double digits” in the number of patients hospitalized, said Jill Chadwick, a spokeswoman at the University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City, Kan. It had a record 25 flu cases admitted as of Monday and two deaths. . . .
CDC FluView: 2014-2015 Influenza Season Week 51 ending December 20, 2014:
The CDC Says The Current Flu Vaccine Everyone’s Taking Might Be A Bad Match For The Virus
CHICAGO (Reuters) – A sampling of flu cases so far this season suggests the current flu vaccine may not be a good match for the seasonal flu strain currently circulating in the United States, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday.
The U.S. health agency issued a health advisory to doctors noting that flu virus samples the agency took from Oct. 1 through Nov. 22, showed that just under half were a good match for the current influenza A flu strain contained in the current H3N2lu shots for 2014-2015, suggesting the virus has drifted. . . .