US Flu in U.S. now widespread but season may be peaking: CDC

22:40  12 january  2018
22:40  12 january  2018 Source:   reuters.com

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Seasonal influenza is now widespread across the continental United States, causing severe illness and rising numbers of hospitalizations, but this year' s outbreak may be peaking , government In the past week, the CDC has seen a spike in flu -related visits to doctors’ offices that report to the CDC .

Seasonal influenza is now widespread across the continental United States, causing severe illness and rising numbers of hospitalizations, but this year' s outbreak may be peaking , government health officials said on Friday.

a close up of a device: A nurse displays a flu vaccine at a free medical and dental health clinic in Los Angeles © REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson A nurse displays a flu vaccine at a free medical and dental health clinic in Los Angeles Seasonal influenza is now widespread across the continental United States, causing severe illness and rising numbers of hospitalizations, but this year's outbreak may be peaking, government health officials said on Friday.

"Flu is everywhere in the U.S. right now," Dr Dan Jernigan, director of the influenza division at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters on a conference call.

"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.

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is now widespread throughout the continental United States, inflicting extreme sickness and rising numbers of hospitalizations, but this 12 months’ s outbreak may be peaking Seven kids died from the flu final week, bringing the whole pediatric flu deaths reported to the CDC this season as much as 20.

Seasonal influenza is now widespread across the continental United States, causing severe illness and rising numbers of hospitalizations, but this year' s outbreak may be peaking , government health officials said on Friday.

The flu strain currently causing the most infections is H3N2, an influenza A virus that has been linked with increased hospitalizations and death, especially in young children and adults over age 65.

In the past week, the CDC has seen a spike in flu-related visits to doctors' offices that report to the CDC. "What we can see is a very rapid increase in the numbers of people coming in to see their healthcare providers," Jernigan said.

The rate of hospitalizations for laboratory-confirmed cases of flu doubled last week, rising to 22.7 hospitalizations per 100,000 people, up from 13.7 the prior week.

Seven children died from the flu last week, bringing the total pediatric flu deaths reported to the CDC this season up to 20.

Jernigan characterized the current flu season as "on the severe side," but said it does not appear to be as severe as the 2014/2015 flu season, which was also driven by an H3N2 virus.

Brutal flu season could get even worse

  Brutal flu season could get even worse The CDC says the number of flu cases is up sharply, with high activity reported in 26 states .At the Palomar Medical Center near San Diego, the new year ushered in a brutal flu season."The day came when we had extended waits in the emergency department up to eight or nine hours for a patient to be seen," said Michelle Gunnett, emergency room nursing director. "We need to figure out other space to see patients."That space ended up being a triage tent set up right outside the ER.California is one of the 26 states reporting high flu activity.

Seasonal influenza is now widespread across the continental United States, causing severe illness and rising numbers of hospitalizations, but this year' s outbreak may be peaking Seven children died from the flu last week, bringing the total pediatric flu deaths reported to the CDC this season up to 20.

Seasonal influenza is now widespread across the continental United States, causing severe illness and rising numbers of hospitalizations, but this year' s outbreak may be peaking , government In the past week, the CDC has seen a spike in flu -related visits to doctors’ offices that report to the CDC .

The current flu vaccine appears to be about 30 percent effective against this year's circulating virus strains, contradicting widespread reports based on Australia's recent flu season that suggested the vaccine was only about 10 percent effective, Jernigan said.

Official effectiveness data on this season's flu vaccine will not be available until the middle of next month.

Most flu shots cover four flu viruses - two influenza A viruses - H3N2 and H1N1 - and two B viruses. Some states that have already had outbreaks of H3N2 are beginning to see cases of H1N1.

So far, influenza B strains have not yet appeared, and Jernigan said it was not too late for people who have not been immunized to benefit from a flu shot.

(Reporting by Julie Steenhuysen, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien)

Flu death count in California spikes .
The death toll from influenza in California rose sharply on Friday, amid a brutal flu season that has spread across the nation. State health officials said that 32 people under 65 died last week of the flu, making it the deadliest week this season so far. In total, 74 people under age 65 have died of the flu since October, compared with 14 at the same time last year. The current flu season is dominated by a strain of Influenza A known as H3N2, which is often a poor match for the influenza vaccine and tends to be deadlier than other strains.

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