Officials say flu has killed 194 this season

The flu vaccine is only 10 percent effective this year. Blame eggs.

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When more people hear about the flu, the more people want to get vaccinated.

We are emerging from yet another season of misery, fevers, chills, cough, sore throat, muscle aches, overwhelming fatigue. The flu season typically ends March 31, but has been known to linger several weeks into April. The Democrat continues to encourage New Yorkers to get a flu shot.

A friend of mine who works in the ED has thought about just giving everyone a prescription for Tamiflu when they register at the ED triage desk, and then take it away from those rare few who have strokes, heart attacks, or other non-flu illnesses.

Puerto Rico, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin all experienced moderate activity.

For many years, hardly anyone with the flu came into primary care practices.

Eighteen new flu deaths have been reported in North Carolina, bringing the total to 253 for the season.

USA health officials say the worst of this season's unusually strong flu outbreak is over.

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Madjid pointed out that that the United States has a "universal vaccination" policy for flu, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommending annual flu shots since 2010-2011 for all eligible persons aged 6 months and older. The previous record of 130 deaths was set a year ago. In addition, the vaccine is 42 percent effective against the influenza B viruses, which are also circulating, the researchers said.

Hospitalizations are now at 3,962 for this flu season. Both flu victims reportedly had underlying medical conditions.

It also made an appearance during the 1997-1998 and 2003-2004 flu seasons and was once again bad.

And, as health officials predicted, cases of less severe influenza B infections are now starting to edge closer in number to the more severe influenza A cases.

The reason more people fall ill to H1N1 was because it was a new virus. The week of January 27 to February 3 had a season-worst 42 deaths.

"It doesn't mean the flu is gone", said Ravi Jhaveri, a professor of pediatrics at UNC School of Medicine.

Additionally, some online pharmacies claim to sell Tamiflu or prescription antiviral drugs at reduced prices or without a prescription.

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An influenza diagnosis for people 65 and older is serious.

After hours of poring over flu distribution maps and timelines, along with the genetic characteristics of the various clades and subclades of the influenza strains now circulating, the committee voted unanimously to advise the FDA to go with the strains the World Health Organization recommended for vaccines in the Northern Hemisphere.

"We expect a mixed season".

"The positive news is that we appear to be past the peak of the flu season". For the entire season so far, influenza A strains have been responsible for almost 74 percent of all cases, the CDC report noted.

The current vaccine targets the head, but that is the part that is always changing. "The strains tend not to circulate at the same time".

Most of the discussion related to the H3N2 component of the flu vaccine and one of the influenza B components, Webby said.

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