By late January Panhandle schools were seeing what felt like tsunami of influenza and other illnesses. Now the tide has turned.
“On a State call earlier this week they reported numbers declining statewide,” Melody Leisy, Panhandle Public Health District Panhandle Region Medical Response System coordinator said. “It looks as though we will have a reprieve for awhile. We do anticipate a second wave at some point. It typically isn’t as severe. … The reports are always retrospective a week.” (See accompanying Synopsis for Week Ending Feb. 2nd, 2019—MMWR Week 5 graphic. All data are preliminary and may change as more reports are received. For the full report visit: http://dhhs.ne.gov/publichealth/Documents/Report.pdf)
Leisy also referenced a Feb. 2 study, “Effects of Influenza Vaccination in the United States during the 2017-2018 Influenza Season”; published online in Clinical Infectious Diseases.
- · The study found that the flu vaccine effectiveness reduced the chances of getting sick and going to the doctor for flu by 38% during the 2017-2018 flu season.
- · Additionally, CDC estimates that flu vaccination last season prevented 7.1 million flu illnesses, 3.7 million flu-associated medical visits, 109,000 flu hospitalizations, and 8,000 flu-associated deaths.
- · The results of this study show that current flu vaccines do offer substantial public health benefit.