How Effective Is the 2018 Flu Shot? Here ’s What You Should Know

Vaccination has been recommended for decades as the best way to protect yourself against flu, but it’s no silver bullet. The shot’s effectiveness varies from year to year, depending on the closeness of the match between that season’s viruses and the vaccine, which is usually reformulated each year. This winter in North America, its performance has been especially poor, leaving people more vulnerable to a virus that’s caused a spike in hospitalizations and deaths. In Hong Kong, schools are starting their Chinese New Year holiday earlier amid a flu epidemic that has claimed more than 100 lives in the city. 1. How effective is the 2018 flu shot? Early findings from Canada indicate a 17 percent effectiveness against the viral strain, known as H3N2, that’s been the main culprit of flu in the U.S. this winter. 2. Why are vaccines less protective against some strains of the flu? One reason has to do with the most-common way flu shots are made. They typically contain killed (or “inactivated”) flu viruses that are grown in chicken eggs. Flu viruses that spread easily among humans tend not to grow as well in chicken eggs as bird flu strains do. This is especially the case for H3N2 viruses, which have been circulating continuously in humans since 1968 and are, therefore, very well adapted to humans as a host. When replicating inside eggs, H3N2 viruses are prone to undergoing adaptive changes that make them better-suited to the egg environment, ...
Source: TIME: Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized Bloomberg health onetime Source Type: news

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Influenza has been impacting public health on a global scale since the beginning of recorded history. Influenza, also known as the “flu,” has numerous organizations committed to public health research, developing vaccines, and educating on best practices to prepare for the upcoming flu season. By gaining an understanding of the flu through history, virology, and how it impacts our society, we can have a better appreciation for the commitment that’s involved with combating the flu. What Is Influenza (and What’s Not)? The eyes of an epidemiologist can twitch for a variety of reasons, one of them being...
Source: JEMS Special Topics - Category: Emergency Medicine Authors: Tags: Exclusive Articles Operations Source Type: news
AbstractPurpose of ReviewZoonotic influenza viruses are those that cross the animal-human barrier and can cause disease in humans, manifesting from minor respiratory illnesses to multiorgan dysfunction. They have also been implicated in the causation of deadly pandemics in recent history. The increasing incidence of infections caused by these viruses worldwide has necessitated focused attention to improve both diagnostic as well as treatment modalities. In this first part of a two-part review, we describe the structure of zoonotic influenza viruses, the relationship between mutation and pandemic capacity, pathogenesis of i...
Source: Current Infectious Disease Reports - Category: Infectious Diseases Source Type: research
AbstractThis work aimed to analyze the herd immunity to influenza among a Russian population living in regions with an increased risk of emergence of viruses with pandemic potential, and to isolate and investigate virus strains from severe influenza cases, including fatal cases, during the 2016 –2017 epidemic season. In November 2016 – March 2017 highly pathogenic influenza outbreaks were registered in Russia among wild birds and poultry. No cases of human infection were registered. Analysis of 760 sera from people who had contact with infected or perished birds revealed the presence o f antibodies to A(H5N1) v...
Source: Archives of Virology - Category: Virology Source Type: research
Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health. 05/07/2018 This video is Part 1 of a one-day symposium sponsored by the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the context of the centenary of the 1918 influenza pandemic, experts from academia and government convened to discuss and debate current pandemic influenza threats, and the future of pandemic preparedness and influenza prevention and control. Topics include 2018 Threats: The Challenge of H3N2, and Impact of Epidemic on Health Systems; and Current Gaps: United States and Local Public Health Pandemi...
Source: Disaster Lit: Resource Guide for Disaster Medicine and Public Health - Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Source Type: news
Vaccination has been recommended for decades as the best way to protect yourself against flu, but it’s no silver bullet. The shot’s effectiveness varies from year to year, depending on the closeness of the match between that season’s viruses and the vaccine, which is usually reformulated each year. This winter in North America, its performance has been especially poor, leaving people more vulnerable to a virus that’s caused a spike in hospitalizations and deaths. In Hong Kong, schools are starting their Chinese New Year holiday earlier amid a flu epidemic that has claimed more than 100 lives in the ...
Source: TIME: Science - Category: Science Authors: Tags: Uncategorized Bloomberg health onetime Source Type: news
Abstract To determine the cross-immunity between influenza strains, we design a novel statistical method, which uses a theoretical model and clinical data on attack rates and vaccine efficacy among school children for two seasons after the 1968 A/H3N2 influenza pandemic. This model incorporates the distribution of susceptibility and the dependence of cross-immunity on the antigenic distance of drifted strains. We find that the cross-immunity between an influenza strain and the mutant that causes the next epidemic is 88%. Our method also gives estimates of the vaccine protection against the vaccinating strain, and ...
Source: Bulletin of Mathematical Biology - Category: Bioinformatics Authors: Tags: Bull Math Biol Source Type: research
CONCLUSION: Results revealed that post-pandemic influenza seasons in Macedonia were rather different. Although the influenza season pattern is similar to patterns in some countries of the WHO European region, some unique characteristics were observed. PMID: 29022683 [PubMed - in process]
Source: Central European Journal of Public Health - Category: International Medicine & Public Health Tags: Cent Eur J Public Health Source Type: research
Influenza viruses production: Evaluation of a novel avian cell line DuckCelt®-T17. Vaccine. 2017 May 29;: Authors: Petiot E, Proust A, Traversier A, Durous L, Dappozze F, Gras M, Guillard C, Balloul JM, Rosa-Calatrava M Abstract The influenza vaccine manufacturing industry is looking for production cell lines that are easily scalable, highly permissive to multiple viruses, and more effective in term of viral productivity. One critical characteristic of such cell lines is their ability to grow in suspension, in serum free conditions and at high cell densities. Influenza virus causing severe epidemi...
Source: Vaccine - Category: Allergy & Immunology Authors: Tags: Vaccine Source Type: research
This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related... + articlesList=5919b373e4b0bd90f8e6a746,58e7ca87e4b06f8c18beeb55,58b9d3fde4b05cf0f4008d49 -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
Source: Healthy Living - The Huffington Post - Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news
Conclusion This surveillance revealed a distinct epidemic pattern of seasonal and pandemic influenza in this subtropical region. PMID: 27980256 [PubMed - in process]
Source: Internal Medicine - Category: Internal Medicine Tags: Intern Med Source Type: research
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