"Depends on how many people are vaccinated each year, how good the vaccine is but this year actually we're seeing the strains that are being seen are covered by the flu vaccine that is available which is a good thing".
From September 2016 to print time, the health department reported 12 cases of influenza-related hospitalization. They are caused by different viruses, but are both respiratory infections.
"So, there are a lot of hospitalizations and deaths prevented when the vaccine is not as ideal as we would like", he noted.
While the vaccine was found to be 48 percent effective in preventing flu-related medical visits for all ages, it provided slightly better protection for young children between the ages of 6 months to 8 years and older adults between the ages of 50 to 64, according to the report. It's also particularly important for babysitters and elderly caretakers.
Most influenza vaccine is produced in hen's eggs; the viruses have to adapt to grow in eggs.
The data comes as what has been a pretty active flu season is near its apex in many parts of the country.
In a separate report, Lenee Blanton, MPH, of the CDC, characterized influenza activity as "moderate" so far this year. Scientists have identified almost 600 variations of the virus this season.
Unfortunately, the CDC recently advised that the flu mist nasal spray proved ineffective in treating the flu last season. Influenza A (H3N2) viruses have predominated overall, though the CDC also identified influenza A (H1N1) pdm09 and influenza B viruses. A patient from Iowa who had been exposed to swine a week before illness tested positive for an H1N2 variant strain.
As the virus continues to sweep across the U.S.at epidemic levels, vaccine effectiveness level was 48 percent against acute respiratory illness from the end of November through February 4, according to an analysis of 3,144 people enrolled in the U.S. Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Network. It was the first H7N2 infection in humans since 2003. "Since influenza-associated pediatric mortality became a nationally notifiable condition in 2004, the total number of influenza-associated pediatric deaths per season has ranged from 37 to 171", the CDC said.
"Interestingly enough we do not have any now diagnosed patients with the flu as inpatients at Laughlin Memorial Hospital", Laughlin Human Resources Director Noah Roark said Monday afternoon.