CDC - Flu season to get worse with weeks of suffering ahead

CDC - Flu season to get worse with weeks of suffering ahead

CDC - Flu season to get worse with weeks of suffering ahead

Schuchat noted that this season, "We are on track to break recent records". "During most seasons, type B influenza cases are seen later in the season, so receiving a flu vaccine now can help protect against late season illness".

At 59.9 per 100,000, the level of hospitalizations is already very high and comparable to the end of the severe 2014-15 flu season, Schuchat said.

Swine flu, which swept the globe in 2009 and 2010, sickened 60.8 million Americans, hospitalised 274,304 and killed 12,469, according to CDC data.

This year's epidemic can not be called a pandemic because the virus causing the most illness has been around for decades.

'The flu is incredibly hard to predict and we don't know if we've hit the peak yet, ' Dr Schuchat said.

Within the past seven days, 10 more children have died across the country, bringing the season's total to 63. Yet, some go for whatever length of time that 20 weeks, wellbeing authorities say. Circulating flu strains this season are a mix of H3N2, H1N1 and B viruses.

Schuchat said that while this year's virus "isn't new in terms of antigenic drift", virologists are studying it to see if there are "other explanations for the more severe disease we're seeing".

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.

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

"There is a lot of fear and alarm about this flu season", Schuchat said.

- Right now, we're in the middle of flu season, and at the Osceola County Department of Health, workers gave out 300 free influenza shots on Friday.

The illness remains widespread in all states but Hawaii and Oregon.

"We have good evidence that if you start taking antivirals within 48 hours of symptoms, you can lessen the severity of your illness", she said.

A total of 19,333 influenza cases have been reported in New York City so far this season, as of February 3. All of them are people ages 50 and older. This rate is higher than the anticipated 7.3% pneumonia- or flu-related deaths estimated for the week. "It's the flu is nearly over and then there is sepsis or pneumonia", said John Mahan, Director of Nursing, Savannah Square.

The CDC has tentatively estimated the effectiveness of this year's vaccine at around 30%, largely due to a genetic mismatch between the vaccine strain of H3N2 and the wild strain infecting people.

It gets worse. The death toll in future weeks is expected to grow even higher because flu activity is still rising, and the number of deaths follow the flu activity.

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