EVEN AS the number of reported cases of influenza is rising rapidly in the United States, the first steps toward combating next year's outbreaks were being taken by an advisory group to the Food and Drug Administration.
After reviewing influenza viruses currently in circulation throughout the world—data provided by experts from the Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, Ga—the group, chaired by Floyd Denny, MD, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, recommended:
Keeping the present H1N1 type A virus (isolated in 1986 in Taiwan) in next year's vaccine.
Consideration of substituting a slightly different representative of H3N2(known as Shanghai/11/87, isolated during the 1987 and 1988 influenza season) for Sichuan/2/87, the antigen in the present vaccine.
Giving serious thought to replacing the present B strain with a new type B strain isolated last year in Japan.
The final decision on which variants of the H3N2 and B strains to put into the