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Researchers work to boost effectiveness of the flu vaccine
Date:6/8/2009

trains of influenza, rather than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention perennially trying to predict strains for the next flu season and drug makers continuously making new vaccines.

Most viral infections are seasonal and show up looking a little different each year, which is why vaccines vary yearly, notes Dr. Tripp, a professor in the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine. Most influenza infections are mild, accompanied by classic symptoms such as fever and malaise. In fact the general misery associated with the flu is actually the body's response to fighting it. People often mistakenly think the attenuated, or weakened, virus used in the flu vaccine makes them sick when it's actually evidence the body is mounting an immune response, Dr. Mellor says.

Less than 20 percent of influenza infections are severe and a fraction about 36,000 annually in the United States - go on to cause death. Secondary infections, such as pneumonia, typically contribute to mortality, Dr. Tripp says.


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Contact: Toni Baker
tbaker@mcg.edu
706-721-4421
Medical College of Georgia
Source:Eurekalert  

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