Recognizing early flu symptoms in kids is vital — CDC

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The CDC continues to recommend influenza vaccination because the flu shot can still prevent some infections with circulating viruses, which are expected to continue circulating for several weeks. "It is advised that if you think you have the flu or an illness similar to the flu, you should stay home, rest, keep warm and drink fluids", Barber said.

Still, it counts as one of the most intense flu seasons in more than a decade.

Only those who receive the "four strain" flu vaccine are protected against the Yamagata strain.

Have you, or someone you know, gotten sick with the flu?

Australia was hit hard by the flu in 2017, with a high number of deaths and hospitalizations. However, a recent shocking report by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has revealed that very same vaccine now only possesses a 36 percent degree of effectiveness against the disease; effectiveness is higher - 59 percent - when the vaccine is administered to children between the ages of 6 months and 8 years, the CDC said, although that number may not be quite high enough to quell the fears of parents statewide.

Flu vaccine efficacy numbers may seem lower than normal, but any flu vaccine is better than no vaccine, says William Schaffner, MD, professor of preventive medicine and infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University, in this MedPage Today video.

You reduce your risk of catching and spreading the flu and, even if you do get the flu, having the vaccine reduces the severity of illness and death.

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However, the CDC would not take the step in declaring that the season has officially plateaued.

"These new trivalent vaccines work in over 65s by generating a strong immune response and are more effective for this age group in protecting against influenza", Mr Hunt said.

Overall vaccine effectiveness against influenza A and B viruses was 36 percent. Based upon that information and on the recommendations of the World Health Organization - which typically meets in February to make its vaccine strain recommendations for the Northern Hemisphere - the FDA convenes its Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee. Those who received the normal "three strain" vaccine are not protected.

The FDA is involved in many critical steps in the annual production of influenza vaccines.

Once the strains are selected, the FDA produces materials in our laboratories that are critical for making the vaccine.

These vaccines grew in cells, not eggs. In the meantime, the FDA is collaborating with federal partners and with industry to improve the manufacturing of the current generation of influenza vaccines.

And while the vast majority of otherwise healthy children will ride out a bout of influenza and recover rather quickly, a small number will develop potentially life-threatening complications that require immediate medical attention, Schaffner said.