Medicine

Deadly Flu Season Expected To Ramp Up

Deadly Flu Season Expected To Ramp Up

"I wish there was better news this week, but nearly everything we're looking at is bad news", Dr. Anne Schuchat, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said during a news conference Friday.

And one in 13 doctor visits last week were for flu symptoms.

"It's been a though season needless to say, We'd like to say its calming down however today we've seen a bunch of flu return again, so it's hard to say but I don't think it's over quite yet", said Berman. Swine flu, which swept the globe in 2009 and 2010, sickened 60.8 million Americans, hospitalized 274,304 and killed 12,469, according to CDC data.

Flu shots are available for residents who are age two and older at local pharmacies and for everyone age six months and older at pediatricians' and healthcare providers' offices.

"Many out of state insurance plans and some MI insurance Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) and Medicaid plans preclude students from receiving health care and vaccines at Sindecuse Health Center", Marshall said.

The numbers have slowly been decreasing since that time, but they remained at an elevated level of approximately 50 cases per week through late January.

Another 10 children were reported to have died of the flu in the week ending February 3, bringing the total infant mortality so far this season to 63, Dr. Anne Schuchat, the CDC's acting director, told reporters. The flu has claimed the lives of seven Texas children in all. Schuchat noted they continue to recommend vaccination against influenza, "even this late in the season". In all, 48 states are still reporting widespread geographic influenza activity; OR and Hawaii are reporting regional OR less widespread activity.

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Basically, yes. You may have heard that this year, the flu shot contains the "wrong" strain.

The virus continues to keep the state's emergency departments busy.

The CDC reported that flu vaccines usually do not work as well against H3N2 viruses. Most circulating strains match this season's vaccine. "However, some protection is better than none", Dr. Schuchat said.

Should you get the flu shot even if it's the "wrong" strain?

Other ways people can protect themselves are frequent, thorough hand-washing; disinfecting surfaces at home and work; staying home if sick for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone to prevent spread of the virus.

And she said for sick employees who don't get paid sick leave, and try to tough it out, "they run sort of a double whammy ... they can't pay the bills and they really can't stay home as long as they need to fully recover".

If symptoms progressively get worse, students should take immediate steps to see a health professional, especially if they are pregnant, have chronic illness or have severe symptoms such as prolonged fever, difficulty breathing or dehydration.


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