CDC: Flu Remains 'Elevated' in U.S.

11 Mars, 2019, 10:46 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
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"We usually see flu cases start declining after March into April and then declining until the end of the season which typically ends in May", Howard said. However, over the last two weeks, more illnesses have been tied to the Type A H3N2 strain, which poses a more significant risk to the elderly.

Another flu death has been reported for the 2018-19 season, bringing the total number of flu-related deaths to 7, according to reports from Kern Public Health.

"There's hundreds of strains of flu out there", Dr. Stanton said. "However the vaccine is more effective against that strain this year, which I think explains why we're seeing less deaths and less overall flu activity comparatively", says Howard.

Hospitalizations for flu rose to 36.6 per 100,000 population, with the highest rates in seniors, followed by children younger than 5 years and adults ages 50 to 64.

For the second week in a row, H3N2 viruses were reported more frequently than 2009 H1N1, which had been predominant across the season.

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For comparison, the hospitalization rate is less than half of what it was at this point last season. "That was the virus that was causing so much trouble a year ago". Common antivirals include Tamiflu and Xofluza.

In all, 58 Nebraskans have died from the flu this season - eight in Lancaster County.

CDC officials estimate there have been somewhere around 20,000 to 30,000 flu-related deaths so far this winter.

"Although it's not flawless, it still prevents many, many infections, and even if you should get influenza despite having received the vaccine, it tends to make a less severe infection. You are certainly less likely to get the complications of pneumonia, having to be hospitalized and dying", Schaffner said.


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