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Preparing for This Fall's Unpredictable Flu Season

Posted by Jane Akre
Friday, February 22, 2008 10:33 AM EST
Category: Major Medical, Protecting Your Family
Tags: Influenza, Flu, FDA and Prescription Drugs,

Federal health officials will soon decide which strain of influenza might be present this fall so vaccine manufacturers can get busy.


Flu season begins this fall and already federal health officials are preparing for the next round of what they hope will be an effective vaccine.

This year’s batch was completely reformulated for the first time in 20 years and proved not to be very effective in 60 percent of the flu strain present.  

Every year proves to be a guessing game with a web of about 80 laboratories worldwide trying to identify which strain will pose the biggest threat. This year a particularly virulent strain from Australia is making millions of Americans sick.

Million of Americans have found this flu season especially debilitating across the country and often with severe outbreaks occurring at the same time.  Generally flu occurs in waves across the country.

Once health officials predict which strain of the flu will be present in the fall, vaccine makers have time to make up to 100 million doses needed worldwide.  

There is not much wiggle room once the vaccines are made. Next flu season will include three strains of flu not present in this year’s shot including the Brisbane/10 from Australia, not present in this years vaccine.

The flu is much worse than a cold with body aches, shivering, fever, headaches, dry cough and vomiting.

Today, Friday February 22, the CDC’s Dr. Nancy Cox, chief of the Influenza Division will have an information session on this year’s influenza outbreak. 1:30 P.M. EST the media can listen in at 888-795-0855 and ask questions while the public can listen in only toll free at 800-857-9824. # 






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