Number of flu cases continues to decrease

Expand                      Image by Thinkstock

Expand Image by Thinkstock

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today reported national cases are falling as well, but 21 states are still seeing high rates of the virus.

More than 5,300 cases of Influenza A have been recorded in Alberta so far in the 2017-2018 season, while over 2,800 cases of Influenza B have been logged. The previous week ending March 3 had seen a drop of 13 from February 23. H3N2 strains continued to be dominant as they have throughout the season, but the proportion of influenza B viruses increased for the week.

Earlier this year both hospitals had discouraged visits by children, non-family members or anyone exhibiting flu-like symptoms.

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There was a 53 percent decrease in laboratory-confirmed flu cases in New York State last week and a 41 percent decrease in hospitalizations, according to a news release from the governor's office.

The latest Georgia data continue to show the flu epidemic trending downward in the state.

CDC officials have pinpointed one reason why this flu season has been so tough: the flu vaccine is only 25 percent effective against more severe H3N2 influenza, which caused most flu cases this year. "Current surveillance by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other institutions revolves around the 6-8 month egg-substrate vaccine timeline". Cell-based and recombinant vaccine production can also be completed more quickly than egg-based production, which can provide more effective seasonal influenza vaccine, according to the company. Specific hereditary limitations found in the egg substrate can heighten the antigen differentiation between the vaccine being constructed via the egg and the area of the virus surface protein antigen that is targeted by the vaccine. The H1N1 swine flu, which killed about 575,400 people in 2009, originated from bird flu mixing with human flu genes at an industrial farm. As of early March, the number of USA pediatric deaths associated with the disease surpassed 100, and the cumulative hospitalization rate had reached its highest level since at least 2010. The CDC recommends that you stay at home for at least 24 hours after a fever is gone, except to get medical care.

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