More on the flu season and the HIV breakthrough

Health

It is March and people are still coming down with the flu.   

The latest numbers, released by the state, show three more flu related deaths. The CDC warning of a second wave — with influenza A,  the dominate type circulating.

Dr. Zane Saul, Chief of Infectious Diseases at Bridgeport Hospital explains, “They’re calling it more lethal but there’s really no proof that it’s anymore lethal and when you compare it to last year, we are doing significantly better.” 

Related: Facebook steps up fight against vaccine misinformation

Signficantly better Dr. Saul says because the flu shot is a better match this year.

He says, “It’s about a 47%, what’s in this shot to what viruses are circulating.  Last year it was 40% so when you get close to 50, you see that it makes an impact and less people have flu symptoms that need medical attention.” 

Though not as deadly as last year, the flu has so far claimed the lives of 40 people in Connecticut, including a child, five to 17 years of age, 14 from 25 to 64 years, and 25, 65 years and older.

It’s not too late to get that flu shot. 

A reminder for those 65 and older — there are two high dose vaccines available to boost immune response.

News 8 is on call for you.

A breakthrough story we ran earlier this week about a London man, the second person who maybe cured of HIV – the virus that causes AIDS.

That lead to Jim from Windham, posting this question on Facebook – “Can they isolate it and make a vaccine?”

Dr. Gregg Gonsalves Ph.D. at Yale School of Public Health has been studying HIV/AIDS for more than 20 years.

 His response: 

“While the reports of a second individual in long-term remission from HIV due to a stem cell transplant with cells resistant to HIV are a proof of concept that an eventual cure for the disease may be possible, this is still a distant dream and doesn’t offer hope for people living with HIV now. We have drugs that work to fight HIV… and we have tools to prevent HIV as well. Unfortunately, too many people struggle to get access to these lifesaving medications .. and important prevention interventions like clean syringes… face ideological opposition despite clear evidence of their effectiveness.”

Also announced this week — researchers say a German man could be the third person in history to be cured of HIV.

If you have a health question you want answered — send it to News8oncall@wtnh.com and we’ll get the expert answer you need. 

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