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The CDC also reported 10 more influenza-associated pediatric deaths, 7 of which were associated with influenza A viruses and 3 of which were associated with influenza B viruses.

"Three out of four children who died of flu had not gotten the flu vaccine", Schuchat said. "This one arrived early and continues to spread, leading many people throughout the Commonwealth to get sick".

The CDC said that the overall effectiveness of this year's vaccine is 36 percent. The season officially ends in May.

This year's surging flu numbers are attributed to the strain H3N2, which doctors say is vaccine-resistant.

The hospital paired flu patients in double rooms and used beds in specialty areas of the hospitals to accommodate the overload, Dr. Valenti said.

This season's vaccine was designed, as in other seasons, several months in advance-before it was known which strains would be circulating in the population. Also, the state's chief medical executive, Eden Wells, M.D., was quoted as saying the flu vaccine is a person's best defense against the flu and will help reduce the severity of symptoms even if people catch the flu despite being vaccinated. The flu vaccine does not contain active viruses and can not infect you. The best thing to do is to take precautions, like washing hands, getting vaccinated, and checking up on friends and family who are at risk. "That's higher than we typically see for H3N2", Belongia tells The Washington Post. The CDC uses data from the U.S. Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Network - five study sites across the U.S.

"We've got a good vaccine but not a great vaccine".

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The 2017-2018 flu season has been particularly brutal so far.

And almost half - 46 percent - of the 63 children who have died as of February 3 due to flu-related causes were otherwise healthy, the CDC said.

A flu pandemic, according to the CDC, involves an outbreak of a new infectious virus.

In Ashtabula County, we have already had at least one flu death this year and hospitalizations are outpacing last year with the Ohio Department of Health putting the number at 35, compared to just 23 at the same point a year ago. All employees are also required to get the flu shot. "Go get a flu shot", Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said. He said he, his wife and two children have all been vaccinated.

The vaccine is available to anyone who has not yet received a vaccine this flu season.

Recent research suggests that the traditional production process may make flu vaccines less effective, especially for H3N2.