Flu vaccine works well in South America, which is good news for the U.S.

MONDAY, Sept. 11, 2023 (HealthDay News) — This year’s vaccine has cut the risk of winter hospitalization in South America in half, health authorities report, a finding that should reassure Americans ahead of another flu season.

Even better, the flu strains detected in the United States so far show similar patterns to those in South America, although that could still change. The report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Health (CDC) is based on nearly 3,000 patients hospitalized in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay from late March to early July. The report was published on September 8 in the CDC publication Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The analysis focused on certain at-risk groups, including children, people with pre-existing health conditions and the elderly. The CDC is planning to release information about flu vaccines, including new ads that suggest the vaccine can convert infections from “severe to mild.” Flu vaccines are now available. The CDC recommends their use for infants 6 months and older, as well as for children and adults. This is especially important for young children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with pre-existing health conditions. The CDC recommends that they should get a flu shot in September or October. COVID-19 is currently the leading respiratory virus in the United States. Meanwhile, cases of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are increasing in the South, CNN reports.More information

The World Health Organization has more information about seasonal influenza.

Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, September 8, 2023; CNN.

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