Feb 13, 2017

Deadliest flu season since 2010

Indiana Public Media via Flickr CC

The virus has taken 172 lives this season, making it the deadliest season since 2010, per the AP, and it is reaching a peak at 14,000 new infections each week, according to CBS. The CDC has a great interactive map to track states and flu activity this season.

The good news: The Centers for Disease Control reports this year's vaccine is closely matched for the main strain this year, influenza A, which includes predominantly H3N2 strains, and that there's still time left to get the shot. There are also some trailing cases of H1N1 this year.

The gamble: Remember, last year started out as an H3N2 year but picked up to be an H1N1 year. Not to fret since there is a safety net for that: based on FDA vaccine license records, H3N2 and H1N1 strains are included in all trivalent and quadrivalent flu vaccines licensed for this season. Plus there is still time to get vaccinated since flu season typically lasts until March and sometimes May.

How the vaccine selection works: A lot of the selection of the flu vaccine is guesswork. Every year…

  • The World Health Organization puts out its suggestion for which strain is most likely to infect in the Northern Hemisphere based on analysis of global circulation of flu strains
  • The FDA usually picks the same strain for vaccine makers to target in the U.S. This selection stems from analysis of which flu strains are popping up in the Southern Hemisphere and likely to migrate north, per the Washington Post.
  • Then the drugs are manufactured before the most recent flu season is over so that new flu vaccines can ship in time to doctors' offices and pharmacies.

Go deeper

Focus group: Minnesota swing voters balk at Trump's Easter deadline

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A group of Midwestern swing voters that supported President Trump's handling of the coronavirus less than two weeks ago is balking at his call for the U.S. to be "opened up" by Easter, saying they'll tolerate business closures for as long as it takes to contain the spread.

Why it matters: Their feedback suggests that some voters otherwise mostly supportive of the president — and who still see financial threats outpacing health threats — aren't so tired of social distancing that they're willing to risk ending it too quickly.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 48 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 607,965 — Total deaths: 28,125 — Total recoveries: 132,688.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 104,837 — Total deaths: 1,711 — Total recoveries: 894.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump signed the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill to provide businesses and U.S. workers economic relief.
  4. State updates: North Carolina is latest state to issue stay-at-home order — New York is trying to nearly triple its hospital capacity in less than a month.
  5. World updates: Italy reported 969 coronavirus deaths on Friday, the country's deadliest day.
  6. Business latest: President Trump authorized the use of the Defense Production Act to direct General Motors to build ventilators for those affected by COVID-19. White House trade adviser Peter Navarro has been appointed to enforce the act.
  7. 🏰 1 Disney thing: Both Disney World and Disneyland theme parks in the U.S. are closed until further notice.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancing.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Trump signs $2 trillion relief bill as U.S. coronavirus case count tops 100,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

President Trump signed a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package on Friday, as infections in the U.S. topped 100,000 and more cities experience spikes of the novel coronavirus.

The big picture: The U.S. has the most COVID-19 cases in the world, exceeding China and Italy, per data from Johns Hopkins. A second wave of American cities, including Boston, Detroit, New Orleans and Philadelphia, are reporting influxes of cases.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 10 hours ago - Health