Minnesota Records 2nd Child Death of Flu Season

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday that the overall effectiveness of the shot in the current flu season is 45 percent. This season's shot has reduced the number of bad flu cases by a little less than half.

Dr. Danuta Skowronski, lead author of the study and lead epidemiologist for influenza at the BC Centre for Disease Control, said the study involved about 2,800 patients who were seen by their physicians for a flu-like illness between November 1, 2019 and February 1.

That's notable because this flu season has been particularly hard on children.

Given the uncertainty about how long this flu season will last, Monto recommended getting an influenza vaccine, explaining that the children who die from the flu are more likely to be the ones who weren't vaccinated.

Of the 2,808 specimens tested, 1,411 (50%) were influenza test-positive, including 731 (52%) influenza A and 683 (48%) influenza B viruses, with three influenza A and B co-infections.

That was a welcome surprise to the CDC, because the B strain in the vaccine is actually mismatched against the B strain that's circulating. In past seasons, most children who died from the flu never received a vaccination. The reason is a mystery, but may change as more data comes in, Flannery said. Overall, flu vaccine averages around 40%.

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None of those on Christmas Island or at the facility near Darwin have tested positive to the COVID-19 virus . The commission's daily bulletin also reported 142 more deaths nationwide, the vast majority in Hubei.

Vaccine effectiveness was said to be lower among adults aged 18 through 49 years, especially against the H1N1 viruses where the estimated effectiveness was 5 percent.

The CDC estimates that so far this season there have been at least 29 million flu illnesses, 280,000 hospitalizations and 16,000 deaths from flu.

Dr. Alan Taege, an infectious diseases specialist at the Cleveland Clinic, said he continues to see a steady stream of patients with the flu. Updated vaccine effectiveness numbers are expected later this year.

The vaccine was found to be 50 percent effective, with a 95 percent confidence interval between 39 and 59 percent, against influenza B/Victoria viruses, which predominated for much of the season, and to be 37 percent effective, with a 95 percent confidence interview between 19 and 52 percent, against A (H1N1) viruses associated with the pandemic outbreak in 2009 that have been increasing in circulation in recent weeks.

Flu was widespread in Puerto Rico and 47 states.

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