Officials say that Doctors in Texas are now seeing more of the type B flu and less of type A as the season begins to peak.
Citing data provided by the Centers for Disease Control, Kao said that about 36,000 cases of flu-like illness were reported during the Lunar New Year holiday, and some of those who had serious complications were young or middle-aged people.
Many took the advice of experts to get the flu vaccine, but its effectiveness was limited, Gottlieb noted. It is also updated that people can't get flu from a flu shot. The estimates of overall flu vaccine effectiveness for children are higher with an estimated 59 percent effectiveness against all types of Influenza in children 6 months to 8 years of age. Meanwhile, public officials are trying to make it clear that the vaccine itself can't cause the flu epidemic. A sea of viruses look and feel like the flu but only 38% of those who sought medical attention during the 2017 - 2018 flu season actually tested positive for the flu.
In Pennsylvania, there have been 135 flu deaths since October, according to the state Health Department's weekly flu report.
Last week, there were half as many new cases of H3N2 as the week before, but the strain's decline is "basically mirroring the increase in influenza B", says CDC spokesperson Kristen Nordlund.
"What we're seeing now is a decrease in the amount of the strain that was less effective by the flu vaccine".
"That's why we (still) encourage vaccinations ... even if you already got H3N2", she said. According to a February 17 flu report issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the 2017-2018 season has seen the highest number of influenza-associated hospitalizations in a single season for Colorado.
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Toward these ends, scientists at FDA are collaborating with colleagues at Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to use a large database that includes details of the flu vaccines administered to four million individuals along with whether they were hospitalized for influenza or treated with antiviral medications for influenza-like illness.
So why did this season's vaccines not deliver higher protection against H3N2?
This number is still below the 148 children who died from influenza in the 2014-2015 season. The first dose bolsters the immune system while the second dosage provides protection.
A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee will consider whether to change the flu vaccine for next year as the country faces a worse-than-expected flu season. As I noted previously, the work conducted with CMS shows a preliminary finding that suggests the cell-based influenza vaccine might be somewhat more effective than the egg-based vaccine.
"Pneumonia is a very common secondary infection that people get after having had the flu and you can only test for flu for a very short period of time", Anton said.
"We're seeing the flu in everybody, of all ages".