First flu-related death of the season hits Edmonton


Dr Anthony Fauci told WTOP: "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, which is the way you make the vaccine".

Over the past few months, Australia, whose flu season just ended, was hit hard with a flu strain that's notorious for causing severe illness, especially in seniors.

This year, however, the virus appears to have mutated rendering the vaccine only about 10% effective. That is about the same number of students who received vaccines previous year and slightly less than 25 percent of the student body.

Between 2005 and 2014, flu vaccines averted 40,000 deaths in the United States alone. And it states getting the flu vaccination is the single best way to protect yourself from the flu and its consequences.

Campbell County began reporting flu cases in September and October, which is earlier than previous year, Public Health Director Jane Glaser said.

And many of those who do get it will have a shorter course of illness, he said. Among the most vulnerable are young children, older adults and people with chronic illness. However, while vaccinated people can still get sick, generally they get a milder and less unsafe form of the illness.

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Getting vaccinated later; however, can still be beneficial and vaccination should continue to be offered throughout the flu season, even into January or later.

One reason for the severe flu season may be because this year's vaccine may have been mismatched for other specific flu strains.

"They did observe in Australia that the vaccine didn't work very well", Dr. Neil Rau said.

Two vaccine brands target the 65-and-older crowd.

The production of universal vaccines entails no such risk.

Anyone can get the flu, regardless of age, race, gender, or ethnicity, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.