Mass. Doctors Fear Flu Pandemic After Over 1,600 Cases Confirmed This Week
Bay State doctors fear this year’s deadly flu season will explode into a full-blown pandemic — with influenza sickening 1,646 people just this week.
U.S. Sen. Edward J. Markey called on Congress to commit $1 billion toward the development of a universal flu vaccine to help wipe away the terrifying surge.
Massachusetts General Hospital, hosting yesterday’s press conference, has already seen 10 deaths and 150 hospitalizations related to the flu this season. Statewide, officials have recorded 5,708 confirmed influenza cases since October — and 1,646 just this week.
“We still fall so short in our response to this annual menace,” Markey said. “Flu season shouldn’t be Groundhog’s Day for our universal health community.”
A universal vaccine — which would cost taxpayers $200 million a year — would be able to treat multiple mutating strains of virus, doctors said.
And Markey said he expects Republicans in the House and Senate will recognize the dire need for a universal vaccine.
“I feel very confident that I can reach across the aisle, find Republican support, and begin to find a dedicated way to give support to these researchers,” he said…..more here