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Flu season arrives a month early

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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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