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Return of U.S. Flu Season Brings Worries About a Virulent Replay

  • Virus caused 80,000 deaths last winter, shortages of medicine
  • This season could be more mild but vaccine science is behind
RF sick cold flu

Photographer: ideabug/E+ via Getty Images


U.S. health officials are trying to increase the rate of flu vaccinations this year after a severe outbreak last season killed a record number of children and led to spot shortages of antiviral medications like Tamiflu.

In a panel hosted by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Washington on Thursday, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams took a nasal vaccine -- an effort, he said, to make flu prevention “go viral.” The lighthearted demonstration was accompanied by grim statistics from the 2017-18 flu season: 80,000 deaths overall, including 180 children.