New study finds flu can increase heart attack risk

Kenny Tucker
March 28, 2018

Earlier this month, USA scientists released interim effectiveness estimates for this season's vaccine, which found that protection against H3N2 was 25%, less than hoped and similar to what some other countries have recently found.

Melissa McMahon, a senior epidemiologist with the Minnesota Department of Health, said the flu typically cycles between the weaker H1N1 strain and the current H3N2 strain.

The flu season, which started earlier and was more severe than previous years, slammed emergency rooms and doctors' offices across the Chicago area and nationwide.

Influenza may cause fever, cough, runny nose, body aches and fatigue, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To find out, FDA plans to analyze Medicaid and Medicare health data on over 4 million Americans to figure out why the flu vaccine they may have received was "less than optimal", Gottlieb said. "Unfortunately, there will be another flu season to come". FDA scientists are combing through the data to see if there are any other reasons for the drop in vaccine effectiveness against H3N2 and are working with scientists inside and outside the government to understand the findings. It has been driven by a formidable type of flu that tends to cause more hospitalizations and deaths. One theory is that people might require a higher amount of H3N2 antigen to elicit a proper immune response to that particular strain of influenza. As I noted previously, the work conducted with CMS shows a preliminary finding that suggests the cell-based influenza vaccine might be somewhat more effective than the egg-based vaccine.

The websites - which falsely claim "influenza epidemic caused by vaccines itself, according to health officials" - said Treague "clearly states that the vaccination is at least part of the problem if not the whole problem".

The knowledge we gain through such scientific research will allow us to determine if we need to change recommendations to vaccine manufacturers for how future season's vaccines should be produced.

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Between Jan. 27 and February 17, Loyola Medicine's doctors had 962 positive flu diagnoses from more than 2,400 patients tested.

But even though the vaccine isn't as effective against the most common flu strain, the CDC still recommends that those who haven't been vaccinated do so.

"We must continue to be diligent in doing our part to prevent the spread of flu however possible", he added, "including remembering to wash your hands frequently and staying home when you are sick".

"We know as long as there is flu activity out there, you should get vaccinated and that's one of the best things you can do to reduce your risk and reducing the severity of the flu if you do get it", said McCall.

Compared to a traditional flu shot, FluMist was a popular treatment - particularly among pediatricians - because it was easier to administer on children and individuals uncomfortable with needles. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation's food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.

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