Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
Medical | By Johnnie Horton

CDC: Flu is widespread but season may be peaking

CDC: Flu is widespread but season may be peaking

Health Department officials report that three people have died from flu complications in Allegheny County in the past week.

The current flu season claimed 25 lives in IN by December 30, with the Center for Disease Control reporting a sharp increase in influenza activity on a national level during the last week of the year.

"The season started early and it is probably peaking right now", he said, but cautioned that there are still 11 to 13 more weeks of flu to come. "Today alone we've seen 5-6 Tamiflu prescriptions come in and last flu season between October to January we filled only two Tamiflu prescriptions so a huge increase this year".

The number of confirmed flu cases in Allegheny County has doubled since last week.

Unfortunately, the end of this flu season is nowhere in sight.

So far this season, 25 long-term care facility outbreaks have been reported.

He also noted that it's not yet clear how effective this year's vaccine has been, particularly with the A strain. "There's lots of flu in lots of places", said Daniel Jernigan, director of CDC's influenza division.

"We strongly discourage visitors at this time", she said.

USA stocks brush off year's first wobble, return to records
The CAC 40 in France rose 0.6 percent, the DAX in Germany edged up 0.1 percent and the FTSE 100 in London gained 0.4 percent. The next tests for companies will arrive in coming weeks, as they report their results for the last three months of 2017.

It's no secret by now that the flu vaccine is not a good match with the H3N2 flu strain that is dominating the season.

"Most of the in-patients are here for medical reasons other than the flu", Dossey said. "We are also seeing H1N1 starting to show up in states that have already had H3 activity".

Federal health officials cite the bad winter weather, holiday travel and the severe H3N2 strain for the high number of hospitalizations in the state and nationwide.

Even though the vaccine may not be well matched, it doesn't mean you shouldn't get a flu shot, CDC officials say.

He says that could mean younger people, who are more susceptible to catching the B strain, may get sick earlier, but it's hard to predict what the rest of the flu season will look like.

In seasons when the predominant strain is H3N2, vaccine effectiveness tends to be lower than that against H1N1 and influenza B viruses, Jernigan said.

At UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, the emergency room saw more than 200 patients on at least one day, mostly because of the flu.

"While our flu vaccine is far from flawless, it is still the best defense we have", Fitzgerald says.

Like this: