Flu Season Looking ‘Typical,’ CDC SaysThe New York Times: "Flu activity in the Southern Hemisphere, where the flu season is ending, has been 'typical,' the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday. All three types of flu that normally circulate are present, although the H1N1 'swine flu' strain that caused last year's pandemic has replaced the seasonal H1N1 strain that circulated before 2009" (McNeil, 10/7).
The Wall Street Journal: "It's early days yet, but the CDC says the flu season is so far humming along in unspectacular fashion, with plenty of vaccine available that matches up against the strains of the virus in circulation. ... Some 119 million doses of this year's vaccine, which protects against that same H1N1 virus as well as two other flu strains, had been distributed as of Sept. 24, Daniel Jernigan, deputy director of the CDC's flu division, said at a press conference today. That's about 30 million more doses than had been distributed at the same time last year" (Hobson, 10/7).
Detroit News: "Health officials say the swine flu pandemic has run its course and they're expecting a mild flu season this year. From June through September, flu cases tested around the world have followed typical seasonal patterns, with cases divided among three families of influenza strain: H1N1, H3N2 and Influenza B" (Mullen, 10/8).
In the meantime, HealthDay/Bloomberg Businessweek: "Despite the H1N1 swine flu outbreak, children's seasonal flu vaccination rates last fall and winter weren't much higher than in the previous year, U.S. researchers have found." CDC investigators reported "that seasonal flu vaccination coverage during the 2009-2010 flu season was 26.3 percent for children aged 6 months to 18 years, a 5.5 percent increase from 2008-2009 (20.8 percent)" (Preidt, 10/7).
The Boston Globe: "This year's flu shot is an 'excellent match'' for the strains of influenza that have circulated from July through September, said Thomas Frieden, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC expanded its vaccine recommendation this year to everyone older than 6 months old. 'If you're old enough to ask, you should get a shot,' Frieden said at a news conference in Washington" (Randall and Young, 10/8).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.