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13 Enero 2018, 07:51 | Martinez Canez
Universal DNA vaccine could make yearly flu shot a thing of the past
The CDC recommends people at high risk for complications from the flu be treated with neuraminidase inhibitor antiviral medications as soon as possible once they become sick.
The flu is already gripping 36 states and has killed at least 70 people in the USA, according to data released by the CDC on Friday.
"It's a more active flu season than we saw previous year". "We really believe we can do better than to have to guess every single year what to include in the vaccine and hope it's a good enough match", she said. The vaccine could offer long-lasting protection from all flu virus strains - even as viruses genetically change.
With the Pensacola region seeing a spike in cases of the flu, Sacred Heart Health System has urged all to take preventative actions by getting an influenza vaccine. So far, about 90 percent of U.S.flu cases have been of this type, he said. It is the only version that protects against the Type B/Yamagata flu strain which is now circulating in Alabama.
Because DNA vaccines often fail to generate a strong immune response, the researchers sought to boost the vaccine's effectiveness by fusing the DNA for some of the antigens with DNA proteins from a bacteria, a toxin from E. Coli, and protein from the hepatitis B virus that are known to be antigens that elicit a strong immune response. CDC noted that influenza activity has increased significantly in recent weeks, with influenza A (H3N2) viruses predominating. The research team tested the vaccine on primates, and found T cell responses were so fast the primates just did not get sick.
While most flu deaths in the US occur among the elderly, children and even healthy adults can be susceptible. The disease is getting an early start this year thanks to cold weather that's present across much of the United States. A total of 45 children under the age of 18 have been hospitalized with flu-like illness.
Thousands of Americans die of the virus each year.
The terrifying strain mainly affects older people, those with long-term health conditions, pregnant women and children. Five of the 12 were between the ages of five and 11, while three were between the ages of six and 23 months and two were between the ages of two and four.
People who think they might have the flu should contact their doctor right away to see if they need treatment with a prescription antiviral drug such as Tamiflu, according to advice at the NC DHHS website.
Flu symptoms include fever, chills, headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, and sometimes diarrhea and vomiting. But health experts at the CDC say there are other, proven ways to help fight the flu. Fever usually indicates that someone is contagious, and employees should stay home for another 24 hours after the fever is gone.
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Because the flu is so bad this season, Chen says health professionals are doing things a bit differently this year. It takes about two weeks for the flu shot to take effect. "It's something we don't fully understand", said Strang.
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