Flu season could be bad this year, experts warn

Flu season could be bad this year, experts warn

Flu season could be bad this year, experts warn

"What happened is, in the development of the vaccine, as we grow it in eggs, the virus itself mutated a bit, so that there was nearly an accidental mismatch purely on the basis of the virus trying to adapt itself to growing in eggs", Dr. Anthony Fauci told WTOP.

New reports show that this year's flu vaccine is only about 10 percent effective, but doctors are still urging everyone to get it.

Flu season is here, and so are the latest numbers from the Washington State Health Department.

The FluMist vaccine, also known as LAIV (live, attenuated influenza vaccine) is made from four weakened flu virus strains, two each representing Type A and Type B. Two segments of the strains used in the vaccine change periodically to match influenza circulating in the population.

Last flu season's vaccines were found to be 34 percent effective against H3N2 in the US, leading to widespread misery.

That's not a reason for Americans to skip the flu shot this year, Fauci said.

MYTH 2: The flu vaccine isn't always effective.

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Between 2005 and 2014, flu vaccines averted 40,000 deaths in the United States alone. This is based on what health experts are seeing in Australia.

Flu vaccines are created to protect against the most common flu viruses.

FACT: Each year, the seasonal influenza vaccine includes the strains that researchers found will be most prevalent throughout the season.

"As we prepare for a potentially severe influenza season, we must consider whether our current vaccines can be improved", Fauci and his coauthors wrote. Dr. Fauci stated that developing a universal vaccine should be a high priority.

In addition to holidays and sweater weather, winter bring with it a less than welcome event: flu season. Instead, it seemed to be the mutant proteins introduced as the vaccines were being produced in eggs. "We're not saying it's a great vaccine", Bregier said. So far, there have been 105 hospitalizations associated with the flu statewide.

"But this mutation we identified could be used to make that component of the vaccine a little stronger, thereby improving vaccine efficacy", Pekosz says. Across the globe, there are an estimated 3 million to 5 million severe flu cases each year and about 250,000 to 500,000 deaths.

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