He said it's important for children vaccinated against the flu, but stopped short of recommending making the flu shot mandatory, like measles mumps and rubella. One of the concerns is parents sending their children back to school too soon tricked by what some people are calling the "flu fake out".
"Understanding the types of influenza that individuals have seen" and how that impacts "their susceptibility to subsequent flu exposure will help us understand how to build a better vaccine", he said. Overall, a cumulative rate of 51.4 laboratory-confirmed, influenza-associated hospitalizations per 100,000 population was reported by the agency, with the highest hospitalization rate for people who are 65 years and older.
Although the flu shot may not always prevent infection, it can still prevent serious life threatening effects and length of the flu. "This isn't really an unexpected finding as we often do see increases in influenza B activity later in the flu season".
Crystal Whitley, who teaches in Mullin, got the flu shot in October after giving birth to her son, family members told ABC affiliate WFAA. "With kids, its about 50% have some other condition, usually asthma, neurological disease, or obesity". About half of the children hospitalized for the flu were previously healthy, with no known underlying illness. The team said some have suggested the possibility of slower development of age-related immune response to influenza B. So far 63 children have died this season.
The Georgia Hospital Association (GHA) and the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) encourage patients to call their health care providers if they are concerned about an illness and to carefully assess symptoms.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
"Using simple forecasting models, we showed that thermometer data could be effectively used to predict influenza levels up to two to three weeks into the future", said Miller. "Even if you have already contracted one flu strain this season, the vaccine is still recommended for protection against others".
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