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Trending News Today: Flu Season May Have Plateaued

Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.
Published Online: Feb 20,2018
Laurie Toich, Associate Editor
New data from the CDC suggest that the rate of individuals visiting their physician for influenza-like symptoms reached 7.5% last week, according to STAT. The rate dipping under 7.7% for the week ending February 3, 2018, represents the first weekly decline since flu season started and might suggest the epidemic has plateaued, according to the article.

The FDA recently produced a biomarker-based approach for the approval of novel Alzheimer’s disease drugs in a new draft guidance, STAT reported. Under this strategy, an investigational drug would have to demonstrate a change in a disease-related biomarker in asymptomatic patients. Although the guidance did not outline the biomarkers, the FDA plans to grant accelerated approval to drugs that modify these factors, according to the article.

A study from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association showed that only 29% of insured teens have received the first dose of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine by age 13, according to NPR. The CDC reports that only 43% of teens have received all recommended doses of the vaccine. Being vaccinated at a young age and prior to sexual activity is important for providing protection against HPV and associated cancers, according to the article. Additionally, administering the vaccine in younger individuals elicits a stronger immune response.