Haverhill officials confirm first-grader died from the flu

Lubbock Impact offering free flu shots on Friday

9 Deaths in Tennessee due to Flu

"Washington has seen a lot of the H3N2 strain of flu, which causes more severe illness in young children and those over 65 years old", said Lindquist.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention figures that, overall, the flu vaccine is 36 percent effective at preventing disease.

Most did not even have flu - just 38 percent of them tested positive for flu.

Anyone who's had the flu knows of that particular kind of misery, which can put people out of commission for days - or worse.

Others question the vaccine's effectiveness.

"The fact that the vaccine doesn't work as well as we would like is clearly a contributing factor", said Dr. William Schaffner, a Vanderbilt University vaccine expert.

"Everybody is encouraged to get the flu vaccine this season, even though the vaccine is not 100 percent effective", she said. They are based on relatively small numbers of people and they are considered preliminary.

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"I received a number of emails and calls from parents, and I think the news of the death of a child on Monday prompted many of those calls", Connolly said. They did, however, underscore that the flu shot should not be feared. The risk of serious illness in the 6 months to 8 years age group was reduced by 59 percent among children who were infected with the H3N2 strain.

The state has recorded more than 23,000 flu cases this season.

"Any type of vaccine is better than none", said Scott Hensley, a University of Pennsylvania microbiologist who has led studies that raised critical questions about the vaccine. Hospital officials are also considering canceling elective surgeries to keep acute care beds open and using a heated tent to triage emergency patients. This most recent flu-related death is a solemn and stark reminder that the flu is unpredictable and can be fatal to individuals who are considered otherwise healthy. Solomon believes that everyone should get the flu shot, according to the CDC. The CDC's midseason estimates of vaccine effectiveness against H1N1 is 67 percent and against B viruses 42 percent. Victim ages range from 47 to 93-years-old. During each of those seasons, flu accounted for around 710,000 hospitalizations and 56,000 deaths.

There have been eight flu-related deaths in Nova Scotia over the past week, and health officials say it may be the result of an abnormal influenza season. "We are committed to doing everything we can to make people aware of what they can do to avoid the flu and what they can do once they have it". That's because that strain, the influenza A virus known as H3N2, can change more rapidly than any other flu viruses transmitted among humans, allowing it to evade the body's immune system.

Two other flu vaccines on the US market are made without eggs.

This year, some doses of the vaccine were brewed up in giant vats of cells, rather than grown in eggs.

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