Friday, 22 March, 2019

Greater than six million individuals have had flu this season — CDC

Flu taking toll in California, other states, but having milder impact nationwide, data show Flu Now Officially Widespread Across Iowa
Anna Jefferson | 14 January, 2019, 13:54

Flu seasons vary from year to year and experts say they are nearly impossible to predict.

So far, the flu season has not taken off like it did previous year, when close to 50 million people caught flu and 80,000 died. Getting vaccinated later, however, can still be beneficial and vaccination should continue to be offered throughout flu season, even into January or later.

Public health officials are paying extra attention to how influenza is affecting children this year because of the resurgence of H1N1, a strain of influenza A that hits young people particularly hard and is best-known as the culprit behind the 2009-10 flu pandemic.

Despite those reported cases, hospitalizations remain relatively low.

"If people have not yet had the vaccine, it's not unusual that around this time, after the holidays, we might have a little bit more influenza activity", Murti said. Flu season typically lasts through the middle of the spring. In the past, CDC provided these estimates at the end of each flu season. The CDC says between 69,000 and 84,000 people have been hospitalized due to the flu, and the overall hospitalization rate is about 9 per 100,000 cases.

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The CDC said that reported cases tend to increase in November before peaking between December and February.

The CDC recommends that just about everyone over the age of 6 months get a flu vaccine.

In North Carolina, state health officials said six people died from the flu last week, raising the death toll for the season to 16.

Flu infections are on the rise across the United States.

It's certainly within time to still get [the flu vaccine] now. People who are very sick or who are at high risk of serious flu complications and get flu symptoms should see a health care provider early in their illness for possible treatment with a flu antiviral drug.

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