Flu season arrives a month early

An early flu season is under way, the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports, and will likely prove formidable. The CDC recognized an uptick in seasonal flu cases a month earlier than usual. But good news for flu vaccine makers: Circulating strains match well with those found in the jabs. The predominant flu subtype making the rounds is H3N2--a strain also prominent in the 2003-2004 flu season. About 112 million Americans already received the annual shot, so vaccine makers are seeing profits. Still, last season's vaccination rates rolled in around 42%, meaning there's an untapped market--particularly in pregnant women and children--pharma companies could get their hands on. Story | Special Report

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