Published: Sat, February 10, 2018
Medical | By

CDC warns flu season may not have peaked

CDC warns flu season may not have peaked

"But this season continues to be challenging, and we may be on track to break records".

"This is a hard season, and we can't predict how much longer the severe season will last", Schuchat said. The rate of hospitalizations for the flu reached 59.9 per 100,000 Americans for the week, up from 51.4 a week earlier.

The flu has further tightened its grip on the U.S. This season is now as bad as the swine flu epidemic nine years ago.

"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.

Most of Indiana's flu-related deaths this season have involved people age 65 and older, but almost 83 percent of the influenza-like illnesses reported this year to the state involve people age 24 and younger.

The severity of this strain of the flu is causing more people to be hospitalized or die because of the symptoms. The vaccine's effectiveness against the H3N2 flu strain remains questionable.

"We recognize that this issue is personal to so many families and that there is a lot of fear and alarm", Schuchat said. "What could be mild symptoms for you, could be deadly to someone else", she said, during the briefing.

Health experts say that it isn't too late to get vaccinated. It is possible to come down with both an A-strain and B-strain flu in the same year (and even at the same time).

According to state surveillance reports released Friday, Feb. 9, 2018, flu activity continues to be high in Iowa. OR and Hawaii are the two exceptions.

While flu or pneumonia was listed on 10.1% of death certificates for the week, Dr. Schuchat said deaths probably have not peaked.

They say the flu season isn't over and the respiratory infection could still strike at any time. The death occurred in DHEC's Midlands Health Region. There have been four pediatric deaths this flu season in IL.

And keeping in mind that deaths among youngsters - now at 63 kids - and grown-ups have not been to a great degree high, it is conceivable they could increment in accordance with hospitalization rates, she said. "We still have several weeks left to go".

"There is a ton of dread and caution about this flu season", Schuchat said. "If you have asthma or other lung diseases, you are at higher risk of developing complications from the flu".

The supply of the antiviral drugs used to treat patients with the flu exceeds the demand, although prescriptions are higher than in previous years, said Schuchat.

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