People who think just because they got a flu shot are 100 percent safe from the virus couldn’t be more wrong, health experts declare. The general idea that the formula is able to prevent people from getting sick is erroneous, as the flu shot increases one’s immunity by only 50 or 60 percent. Hence, all other preventive measures still need to be taken into account to keep illness at bay. Moreover, it takes two weeks for the vaccine to take effect.
On Thursday, February 16th, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stepped forward and said this year’s formula is only 50 to 60 percent effective. While weaker than last year’s vaccine, the serum is still more effective than it was in other years.
In their report, the CDC team of investigators calculated that people’s risk of having to go to the emergency room or end up in a hospital bed dropped by 48 percent. Furthermore, almost half a dozen of flu shots have been designed and distributed, which protect against three or four influenza strains.
CDC officials say that all the formulas taken together provided 43 percent protection against the most common virus circulating this year, H3N2, and 73 percent protection against type B influenza.
Since 2004 when influenza-associated pediatric mortality became a nationally notifiable condition, between 31 and 171 people died because of the virus, found the team of investigators. This year alone, the disease already claimed the lives of 20 children.
However, these numbers do not include casualties recorded between 2009 and 2010, when researchers identified a new strain of influenza, H1N1, more commonly known as swine flu. During that season, 358 children succumbed to complications associated with the disease.
In any given year, influenza-associated deaths rise to 50,000, with most casualty already suffering from other chronic affections. 250,000 more end up in hospital with severe symptoms, say researchers. Health experts announced the flu season will be sweeping through the country for several more weeks until it comes to an end. However, looking at the number of victims so far, health officials say this year the population experiences a mild flu season than in the past.
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