State flu deaths climb but season may have peaked

February 24 04:51 2018

Like other doctors’ offices and hospitals have reported, Ellis says she isn’t even testing most kids who come in with flu symptoms. The first time you get a flu shot or FluMist, you need two doses a month apart, if you are younger than 8 because you haven’t built up antibodies to the flu, yet.

Still, there were 13 more pediatric flu-related deaths, bringing the season’s total to 97.

This flu season has been dominated by the AH3N2 strain, which is associated with more severe seasons. ILI activity was still at the highest level in more than half of US states.

“Because it takes 10 to 14 days for the influenza vaccine to be effective, that’s why I would say I wouldn’t be encouraging vaccination at this time“.

Medical facilities around the Philadelphia region say they are still very busy with flu patients as Pennsylvania has over 74,000 lab confirmed cases.

FluMist quadrivalent will be available in the United States for the 2018-19 influenza season, pending annual strain approval from the FDA, the company noted in its statement.

The flu virus can cause an overwhelming inflammation in a person’s lungs that they die of respiratory failure.

The flu remained widespread in 48 states, according to the CDC’s latest report Friday. The type of flu virus that is primarily causing illness in MS and nationwide is the H3N2 flu strain, which especially affects individuals over 65 years of age and young children, increasing their risk of complications and hospitalization.

There were 121 new lab-confirmed cases of influenza last week, bringing the total for the season to 2,422 cases since September 1.

There have been 34 people admitted to the ICU this year for flu symptoms.

Davis said county health officials continue to urge people to get the flu vaccine, despite reports that it has been only somewhat effective this year.

But there are other factors in play, including “more people with a variety of underlying illnesses because we do a better job of keeping people alive and functioning in our society”, he said.

But in recent years, the H3N2 strains have mutated in a way that makes them harder for the human immune system to see.

To reduce the odds you’ll get the flu, wash your hands frequently, maintain healthy habits and try to avoid sick people.

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State flu deaths climb but season may have peaked
 
 
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