Team McCallum

R&D for Lifetime of Life

Influenza season imminent.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has warned that the flu season is nearly here. The start of the flu season is when 12% of samples sent to the CDC test positive for flu, and currently the rate is just below this at 10.7%.

Other information released by the CDC suggests that those who have not had this season’s vaccine would be wise to do so quickly.

In the south east of the US, positive tests rates are running higher. Georgia has the highest, at 20%. The impact is particularly great in school-age children.

There are 3 different components in the flu vaccine, and the CDC released information on what it turning up in the tests, and how this matches the vaccine.

A minority of cases are of the pandemic H1N1 2009 type. The vaccine contains a component for this type.

The majority are for testing positive for B type virus and for an A type H3N1. The current vaccine has a B type component that matches the B type found, as did the vaccine in the 2009 season.

However, the H3N1 type in circulation does not match the H3N1 component of the 2009 vaccine. So anyone immunised last year is not protected against the H3N1 strain now in circulation. However, the current vaccine does protect against this H3N1 strain.

In summary, the 2010 vaccine protects against all 3 types in circulation, while the 2009 vaccine fails to protect against one of the majority strains being found now. Hence the need to get this year’s vaccine.

Although the information released by the CDC applies to the US, the circulating flu strains are typically the same throughout the northern hemisphere, and the vaccine used in Europe has the same 3 components as those used in the US. So a 2010 shot makes good sense for Europeans too.

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December 5, 2010 - Posted by | CDC - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Child Health, Health, Influenza, Success, United States, Vaccine

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