Little U.S. flu activity so far, CDC says

October 4, 2012 by Steven Reinberg, Healthday Reporter
Little U.S. flu activity so far, CDC says
Most people 6 months of age and older are urged to get vaccinated.

(HealthDay)—Flu activity in the United States remains at low levels, federal health officials said Thursday.

"Traditionally flu activity starts to pick up at the end of October, and it normally peaks sometime after the first of the year and starts to wind down by March or April," said Tom Skinner, a spokesman for the U.S. .

Each is different, Skinner said, adding, "Sometimes it can arriver earlier, sometimes it can arrive later."

It's too soon to tell what kind of flu season this year's will be, he said. Based on what's known so far, the CDC said the circulating seem similar to those in this year's vaccine.

Skinner noted, however, that based on limited data it's too early to be sure this year's vaccine is a good match.

"Right now some of viruses we see circulating aren't in the vaccine, but it's a really small sample, so we will have to wait and see what happens when activity picks up," he said.

"Even when activity picks up we can't predict what kind of season we will have in terms of severity," he added. "But we do know we are going to have a flu season and we do know vaccination is the most important thing people can do to protect themselves."

Everyone 6 months and older is urged to get vaccinated, Skinner said. It's expected there will be 135 million doses of vaccine available, he said. "Hopefully, we have enough vaccine for everyone who wants to get vaccinated," he said.

The most common strains of flu detected so far in the United States and around the world are influenza A (H3N2), 2009 influenza A (H1N1) and viruses, according to the CDC.

Since mid-July more than 300 cases of A (H3N2) have been reported. The majority of cases resulted from direct contact with pigs, the CDC said.

The flu report was published in the Oct. 5 issue of the CDC's .

More information: To learn more about flu, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Related Stories

FDA approves flu vaccine for coming season

August 14, 2012

(HealthDay) -- The formulation for the vaccine that will help protect against the flu this coming season was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday.

Flu season's approaching so roll up your sleeve

September 27, 2012

(HealthDay)—The only thing predictable about the flu is its unpredictability, U.S. health officials said Thursday, as they urged virtually all Americans to get vaccinated for the coming season.

Recommended for you

Experimental MERS vaccine shows promise in animal studies

July 28, 2015

A two-step regimen of experimental vaccines against Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) prompted immune responses in mice and rhesus macaques, report National Institutes of Health scientists who designed the vaccines. ...

Can social isolation fuel epidemics?

July 21, 2015

Conventional wisdom has it that the more people stay within their own social groups and avoid others, the less likely it is small disease outbreaks turn into full-blown epidemics. But the conventional wisdom is wrong, according ...

Lack of knowledge on animal disease leaves humans at risk

July 20, 2015

Researchers from the University of Sydney have painted the most detailed picture to date of major infectious diseases shared between wildlife and livestock, and found a huge gap in knowledge about diseases which could spread ...

IBD genetically similar in Europeans and non-Europeans

July 20, 2015

The first genetic study of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to include individuals from diverse populations has shown that the regions of the genome underlying the disease are consistent around the world. This study, conducted ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.