Health officials warn of 'severe' flu season

Fæ   wikimedia commons

Fæ wikimedia commons

Health officials said this is Eastern Washington's first flu-related death season. On Oct. 3, it was announced that Oxford University's Jenner Institute and Vaccitech, a biotech company, are developing a potential universal flu vaccine. 24 Spokane County residents have been hospitalized with flu this season, compared to nine during the same period previous year. It may be several years before a universal flu vaccine is available.

The prospective flu season may be extremely grave one in the U.S.; some medical specialists alerted today reproducing introductory data from the Southern Hemisphere's diminishing flu season.

Researchers discovered an overlooked mutation in two of the viral strains used in the vaccine.

Finally, while most flu vaccines are manufactured using chicken eggs, the experts recommended that scientists explore different manufacturing strategies in order to increase the effectiveness of the vaccines. Current vaccines are developed based on the previous year's flu strain, which creates a high chance of a mismatch.

Medical professionals hope this doesn't discourage people from getting their flu shots. The vaccine stimulates the body's immune system to make antibodies, which can recognize and attack that specific strain of virus inside the body. The vaccine is made from genetically-engineered proteins.

The people most at risk for serious complications from the flu are the very young, the very old and pregnant women.

Brace yourself for a rough flu season.

The flu season is just getting underway in North America, but if Australia's experience with influenza is any guide, we're in for a miserable winter.

The upcoming flu season is approaching and it may be severe in the United States, according to medical experts.

If you get sick, look out for severe aches and pains in your muscles and joints, notable fatigue and weakness, headaches and a high fever. Even though our vaccine is the same as Australia's, it's still recommended to get a flu shot. "We're seeing now that the vast majority of the strains that are early-circulating now right now in the United States...are this H3N2, which historically is always the worse influenza, for example, than an H1N1", Fauci said.

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