Higher vaccine rate attributes to healthier flu season

Faith Castro
January 26, 2019

Some experts said the nationwide death toll in the 2017-2018 season - 79,400 - was second only to the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic.

In the last week, there were 5,227 laboratory-confirmed influenza reports across New York State, according to the latest report from the New York State Health Department.

The weekly flu report published Friday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that three additional children died in the week ending January 19. Some health problems that are known to make children more vulnerable to graver illnesses include asthma, diabetes and disorders of the brain or nervous system.

Pedati attributed the flu shot to aiding this season's lower numbers. Its weekly report issued Friday shows a spike in positive flu test results in data collected for the week of January 13-19. And, the CDC says over the last two weeks, flu activity nationwide is on the rise. People over age 65, children under age 2 and individuals with medical conditions should also get a pneumococcal vaccination to prevent pneumonia, according to the CDC. The report shows most of the flu diagnostic tests with positive results have been Influenza A. Only 2.68 percent of the positive tests were Influenza B. "This year, we're not seeing quite the severity or quite the volume of people effected". "This flu season may have peaked earlier than previous year, but generally the season lasts into April".

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In 2018, the flu spread across the country in one of the worst outbreaks in USA history. Regularly clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs. Avoid crowded places. Stay away from people who are coughing or are sick with influenza.

Lead researcher Dr. Danuta Skowronski of the BC Centre for Disease Control says that level of protection against H1N1 was observed across all age groups, including children.

"They will continue to rise throughout the season, so really it's important and it's not too late to get your flu shot", said Karen Derusha of the Clinton County Health Department.

"The flu can be a serious illness", she said.

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