Article by Sarah Elizabeth Adler, AARP

“For most of us, flu season begins each fall. For flu experts in the United States, however, it might as well begin in February.

That’s when scientists and researchers from around the world gather for a meeting hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO), where they spend days reviewing which strains of the flu virus have been making people sick and decide which strains the next season’s vaccine should cover.

But when experts touched down in Beijing this year, their goal — to recommend a vaccine formula for the Northern Hemisphere’s 2019-2020 flu season — hit a roadblock.

A new variety of the flu virus known as H3N2 had begun to spread rapidly in several countries. In the United States, it caused a second wave of illnesses late in a flu season that had already seen the rise and fall of another strain entirely.”

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