Health Experts Predict Worse Flu Epidemic Season

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Many pharmacies already have this year's flu vaccine in stock.

Even though antiviral medications are important in the treatment of flu, they are not a substitute for vaccination, the pediatrics group also advised. Still, AAP says the effectiveness of the latest version remains an unknown against the strain. However, last flu season was a particularly tough one for children. The CDC doesn't recommend one form of the vaccine over another for children or adults.

The group's recommendations for the 2018-2019 flu season follow a flu season during which 179 children died from flu-related illness and thousands more were hospitalized in the U.S. Health officials estimate that approximately 80 percent of the children who died were unvaccinated.

"It still will provide you some protection", Dr. Wooten said. It also emphasizes that the shot is preferred over the nasal mist.

All children 6 months and older should receive an injectable flu vaccine before the end of October as supplies become available, according to new recommendations published Sunday by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

In addition to preventing absences and individual illnesses, vaccinating children against the flu helps the whole community by preventing the virus from spreading to those who might be in more danger if they get sick, such as infants, pregnant women, and the elderly, said Jennifer Dillaha, medical director for immunizations at the Arkansas Department of Health.

Separately, researchers reported that they found no evidence of increased risk of subsequent asthma diagnosis among children younger than 3 years of age who received a LAIV, administered as a nasal spray.

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Fauci said that there's "a lot of effort and interest now in doing better" with both the seasonal flu vaccine and a universal flu vaccine.

A universal flu shot "is not going to come overnight".

Two observational data indicated that LAIV was poorly effective against influenza A (H1N1) pdm09-like viruses, and was significantly less effective than IIV against these viruses. "So different from diseases like measles and polio that stay essentially stable, and you just got to vaccinate once or get infected, and essentially, you're good for life".

There have also been no confirmed cases of the flu at the hospital this summer, according to Terri Hannibal, a registered nurse and infection preventionist at Tuomey.

So, as scientists labor in their labs trying to flawless a one-time vaccine, Shu recommends using the usual precautions against sickness.

"Get your vaccine. Wash your hands well. Cover your cough or your sneeze", she said. "Every time you contact your face, you delight in a likelihood of introducing germs".

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