Most states are seeing an unusually high number of flu patients as the season comes to a close. Meanwhile, the very first human experiments with a new universal flu shot have begun at the National Institutes of Health.
Don't let your guard down: The US flu season is expected to continue for several more weeks, with activity across the nation now elevated, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday. A flu shot is still recommended for those who have neglected to get one, but the CDC estimated this year's vaccine's overall effectiveness in preventing an infection at just 47%.
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An estimated 80,000 Americans died of flu and its complications last winter, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This means it was the deadliest season in more than four decades -- since 1976, the date of the first published paper reporting total seasonal flu deaths, said CDC Spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund.
The number of people sick with flu has continued to decrease across the nation, but experts warn that the season is not over yet.
Though no new ground was broken at Thursday's congressional hearing about national influenza preparedness and response, several less-familiar points were underlined by officials testifying on behalf of the US Department of Health and Human Services.
Flu season is still raging in the United States, yet already it ranks among the most difficult in recent years. One reason: This year's vaccine has been just 36 percent effective against both A and B virus strains, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated in Thursday's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
From coast to coast, pediatricians in the United States say this year's flu season ranks among the toughest they've seen.
Flu season is well underway across the United States.
Every year, millions of Americans get sick with the flu. While the vast majority of people will recover without any serious complications, not everyone is so lucky.
After a slow start in October, flu season in the United States is gaining speed, particularly in the South.
The future of flu vaccines just might come in a tiny, prickly patch.