Universal Flu Vaccine In The Works

65-year-old Nebraskan dies from the flu, DHHS advises others to get vaccinated

Other strategies include developing vaccines aimed at the virus's protein coat, other proteins that have been found to be identical in multiple flu strains, or the stalk of the hemagglutinin protein rather than its head.

Because flu viruses mutate rapidly, researchers have found it hard to develop a flu vaccine with long-term protection. "The 2017 vaccine that people are getting now has the same H3N2 strain as the 2016 vaccine, so this could be another hard year if this season is dominated by H3N2 viruses again". Second, because flu viruses are constantly changing, vaccines are updated annually to keep up with the changing viruses.

Though an early arrival of the virus is no indicator that the entire season will be bad, health officials are urging residents to get flu shots.

Another illness that some people may not know isn't related to the influenza virus is the stomach flu.

Fact: Immunity from the flu vaccine doesn't "wear off", but the vaccine must be reformulated every year in an effort to match the most common circulating strains. This limits the spread of the virus. Those that received higher doses of the vaccine didn't even get sick.

Washington State's Luke Falk breaks Pac-12 record for career passing yards
The Stanford Cardinal traveld to Pullman, Washington to take on the Washington State Cougars on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017. San Francisco, the major city closest to Stanford's campus in Palo Alto, recently went 35 years without snowfall .

During the 2014-2015 flu season, a strain of the H3N2 virus with a different outer layer protein emerged and this version of H3N2 remains prevalent today.

Researchers have identified why the vaccine was only 20 to 30 per cent effective last year - and warn we face the same problem this year.

In the lab, they coupled the H1N1 virus with human antibodies - immune system soldiers that fight off foreign invaders.

"To put this in other terms, our current influenza vaccine programs and technologies reduce influenza infections and hospitalizations by 4.75 percent and 6.9 percent, respectively", Weaver said. There are now two non-chicken egg flu vaccines made in the U.S. One is FLUCELVAX, and is grown in canine kidney cells, and the second, Flublok, is grown in insect cells. That's because current H3N2 viruses "don't grow well in chicken eggs, and it is impossible to grow these viruses in eggs without adaptive mutations", Scott Hensley, Ph.D., an associate professor of microbiology at Penn, said in a statement.

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