Sunday, 27 May, 2018

Flu cases continue to climb

The Flu is Killing Up to 4,000 Americans a WeekMore The Flu is Killing Up to 4,000 Americans a WeekMore
Carol Daniels | 15 February, 2018, 07:24

Although most flu-related deaths are among the older demographics, a vast majority of flu cases are among younger Hoosiers.

Denton County Public Health (DCPH) is reporting the eighth influenza-associated death, an adult in Denton County, for the 2017-18 flu season. There have been a lot of improvements in the last 10 to 15 years, but we need to do much better.

"And then I touched her cheek and it was cold, and I started shaking her and she wouldn't move", says Jessica Puckett through tears as she recalls the worst day of her life.

If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick.

Flu season is showing no sign of slowing down, and parts of the country may be experiencing a second wave of illness.

That year, Georgia recorded 58 deaths. However, since the end of December, ILI activity this season has continued to increase beyond those two prior seasons and is "now at the highest level that we've seen since the pandemic in 2009".

This year's flu, H3N2, is particularly strong as the flu vaccine distributed this year was not an optimal match for the virus circulating and has created a stir of the virus across the United States, rather than in pocketed regions as normally demonstrated in flu seasons past. There are spot shortages of flu-fighting medications, both in Georgia and nationally.

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"During this most recent week, 80 percent of the viruses reported by public health labs were influenza A, and 20 percent were influenza B", she observed. State officials continued to call the flu widespread and activity levels elevated. OR and Hawaii, the exceptions, both recorded regional activity for the fifth week of the year.

Weekly monitoring of the number of flu cases in all facilities is continuing.

Throughout most of the nation, the flu appears to remain on the rise, Acting CDC Director Anne Schuchat, MD, said at a briefing February 9.

11Alive's Christie Etheridge visited A.G. Rhodes nursing home, the oldest one in Atlanta, to find out what they're doing to keep the most vulnerable potential flu patients safe.

To get some answers, we spoke with Dr. Maria Lopez-Cantor, an internal specialist at New York University's Langone Health, over email.

"The challenge however, is that the vaccine needs to be produced months before the flu season", Loeb explained. "It's not a hugely new strain". "We have yet to plateau".

For this latest study, the team of researchers looked at the information regarding the pediatric deaths due to flu that have been confirmed between time periods 2010-2011 and 2015-2016.

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