Flu activity in U.S. rivals 2009 swine flu pandemic

Faith Castro
February 10, 2018

Schuchat said the country is now in the eleventh week of the 2017-2018 flu season.

"Overall hospitalizations are now significantly higher than what we've seen for this time of year since our current tracking system began nearly a decade ago, in 2010", Schuchat said. "Facilities that are experiencing high rates of flu should ensure that they are cleaning and disinfecting regularly and that ill individuals are isolated to help prevent additional cases of the flu".

"I wish there were better news this week", Anne Schuchat MD, RADM, USPHS, the CDC's acting director lamented.

In its briefing, the CDC also reported 10 new pediatric deaths attributed to influenza viruses, bringing the total reported to 63 this season. Yet, some go for whatever length of time that 20 weeks, wellbeing authorities say.

Caused by viruses, flu is a contagious respiratory illness with mild to severe symptoms that can sometimes lead to death.

Schuchat had a special message for clinicians about the importance of antiviral therapy, especially among those at risk of developing severe flu complications, or in young children, elderly adults, pregnant women, or those with preexisting conditions, such as heart or lung disease.

"There might be a second wave of influenza B infections", she said. As mentioned above, it's likely that we're not quite out of the woods yet.

"It's not uncommon for B strains to increase later in the season", Schuchat said.

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The nationwide flu outbreak could be the worst on record, federal health officials said today while releasing a grim report that at least 63 children have died from influenza.

The virus is still widespread in 48 states, bar Hawaii and OR, which dropped down to regional level last week.

Unfortunately, the flu season probably won't start winding down anytime soon, Schuchat added.

This flu season is presently over 11 weeks old, and the normal flu season endures four months.

The state Health Department announced it is providing more money to county health departments to beef up efforts to promote and increase access to flu shots.

Cases of influenza-like activity also continued to increase, with 7.7 percent of patient visits related to flu-like illness during the week ending February 3, up from 7.2 percent of visits the previous week.

The latest FluView data found that flu-related deaths rose to 10.1% - far above the epidemic threshold figure of 7.3%. "We just have to keep being vigilant".

This year, illnesses are commonly being reported in people who got a flu shot. Dr. Schuchat addressed the ongoing concerns regarding the effectiveness of the current seasonal flu vaccine in a simple, straightforward way: "Some protection is better than none".

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