Archive for Sunday, September 14, 2008

CDC issues flu outlook, suggests new vaccines

September 14, 2008

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued its 2008-2009 Prevention and Control of Influenza report and this flu season doesn't look like it will be any better or worse than last year's. The recommendation includes what strains should be addressed in this year's batch of vaccines.

The newest recommendation is that the nation's health mechanism step up use of the nasal influenza vaccine for children 2 to 4 years old.

The CDC hopes wider use of the nasal vaccine will protect more people against the annual flu outbreak, which hits the United States between November and March.

About 36,000 people die annually from influenza. While most deaths are among the most at-risk groups - the very young, elderly and sick - the health community believes availability of the nasal vaccine would drastically cut the number of deaths.

The CDC and World Health Organization track influenza around the world like weather services track hurricanes. The early report, issued in July, says the strains heading this way are largely similar to the strains from last year.

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