CDC Chief: "Good Start Fighting Flu"

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, says the country is off to a good start fighting the flu this season. She spoke Tuesday before a panel of the nation's top flu experts and CDC officials.

The nation's flu shot supply was cut nearly in half earlier this month when flu shot maker Chiron announced it would not ship any of its 48 million doses of flu shots to America. British health officials suspended the company's license because of contamination problems in the company's Liverpool plant.

Health officials have been trying to prioritize the remaining 61 million doses in order to get the shots to those who need them most. That includes children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems.

Gerberding said the good news is that flu season is not off to a fast start yet. She also says this year's flu shot seems to be a good match to the strain of the virus most likely to affect Americans this season.

Gerberding said there are 40 million doses of anti-viral drugs to treat the flu. CDC officials are trying to calm people's fears about the flu. Gerberding says 300,000 people a day have been looking for information about the flu on the CDC's Web site.


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