Health Care

CDC - Flu season to get worse with weeks of suffering ahead

CDC - Flu season to get worse with weeks of suffering ahead

"We wish there could have been better news this week", said Schuchat.

Hospitalizations among the 55- to 64-year-old age group and higher levels of influenza-like illness are where the records will be, Schuchat noted.

During the meeting, Dr Schuchat presented the status of seasonal flu in the United States and pandemic flu around the world, referencing the rate of activity, hospitalizations, and mortality.

Middle-aged people are being stricken at almost twice the rate seen in 2014-15, although health officials aren't sure why.

'The flu is incredibly hard to predict and we don't know if we've hit the peak yet, ' Dr Schuchat said.

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As for the severity of the flu season, "It's just week 11, there could be several more weeks of flu", Dr. Schuchat said. "We could see more weeks of increased flu activity". States are not required to report flu-related deaths for adults, so we don't have exact numbers for how many in total have passed away. OR and Hawaii, the exceptions, both recorded regional activity for the fifth week of the year.

The CDC said the amount of suspected flu cases at doctor office and hospitals last week matched that seen in 2009, when a new swine flu epidemic swept the country and panicked many people.

The latest statistics showed that the share of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness - defined as fever of 100 degrees or higher coupled with a cough, sore throat, or both - was 7.65 percent for the week ending February 3.

"The previously recorded high for that was 7.6 percent for a non-pandemic year in 2003-2004", Schuchat said. The state reports there were 152 influenza-related hospitalizations reported last week.

"In 2014-15, that number was 35.1 per 1,000".

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"This season is a wake-up call about how severe influenza can be and how we can never let our guard down", she said.

Schuchat said that while this year's virus "isn't new in terms of antigenic drift", virologists are studying it to see if there are "other explanations for the more severe disease we're seeing". "It is not uncommon for B strains to increase late in the season". "It's really the question of where will we be at the end of the year?" Based on a recent Canadian report, the effectiveness against B strain viruses is estimated to be about 55%.

Health officials have said this year's vaccine targets the flu viruses that are now making people sick. "The influenza season is far from over, and it is not too late to get the flu shot". "But the elderly, pregnant women, and other high-risk groups should be seen".

Veda Albertson, a 70-year-old retiree in Tampa, was sick for three weeks with high fever and fluid in her lungs.

According to CDC experts, antiviral drugs are most effective when taken within the first 48 hours of symptoms being shown.

4 more die in the Tri-Cities' worst flu season in years
Officials believe that the flu season hasn't reached its peak, yet, and, unfortunately, expect more hospitalizations and victims. Normally, if you're unlucky enough to get the flu twice - you will get an Influenza A strain, and an Influenza B strain.

Don't spread the misery.