Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Avoid getting caught up in this year's flu snafu

Avoid getting caught up in this year's flu snafu

"The season started early and it is probably peaking right now", according to Dan Jernigan, the director of the CDC's influenza division.

According to the Health Department, the majority of flu-related deaths involve people with diabetes, heart or lung disease, people over the age of 65, and children under the age of 5.

The traditional flu season lasts from October through May.

While most of the deaths this year were for people aged 65 and older, an obituary in the January 12 Missoulian reported that Joseph Hackenbruck, 38, died December 20, 2017, from complications of the flu. The department has investigated 12 flu outbreaks in facilities around the state, seven of them in the last few weeks.

Lincoln Public Schools said between students and staff they've had 30 cases, which isn't unusual. "It's across the board in New Mexico". "Several influenza activity indicators were higher than is typically seen for this time of year", read an update from the CDC at that time. That means, defined by the CDC, there is widespread illness across the USA, and that is indeed what we have.

"Flu is everywhere in the USA right now".

The CDC notes that the particularly virulent substrain H3N2 is dominating the severe cases, and while some cases are being reported in Montana, that's not something they often test for, Allen said. They mutate and change, and some strains may dominant over others.

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"In addition to being associated with increased severity, H3N2 seasons also are associated with vaccine effectiveness that is lower than what we usually see against H1NI or influenza B viruses".

The Australian interim estimate suggested [that] the H3N2 component of the vaccine - and H3N2 was the main virus there during their most recent winter - was only about 10 percent effective. Two cases were announced today by the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office as possibly linked to the flu.

An outbreak of flu in the area before Christmas saw 50 students out in the Silver School District, many from Cliff, which canceled classes and their Christmas program due to so many kids being out sick.

"Number one if you have not gotten a flu shot, it is absolutely not too late", said Dr. Cherie Drenzek, state epidemiologist with the Georgia Department of Public Health.

Late Friday afternoon, the C.D.C. announced that it had changed its mind about next Tuesday's topic, making a last-minute revision to reflect concerns about cases of severe flu. It about takes two weeks for protection from vaccination to set in, but as I said, we have a lot of flu season to get through still. Emergency rooms are full of sick people seeking flu treatment, and the waiting time to get care can take hours. Flu can also aggravate underlying health conditions like heart disease or asthma.

Sometimes, the flu vaccine is not enough to prevent getting the flu. Most otherwise-healthy people who get the flu, however, do not need to be treated with antiviral drugs.

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