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Flu season: More 10 children killed, bringing them to 63 children

10 February, 2018, 06:43 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • Flu season image

The levels of influenza-like illnesses being reported now are as high as the peak of the swine flu epidemic in 2009, and exceed the last severe seasonal flu outbreak in 2003 when a new strain started circulating, said Anne Schuchat, acting director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The agency reported another 10 deaths among United States children this season, bringing the total to 63 so far.

As the total number of flu cases in the state climbed to 52,567, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday directed state Department of Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker to authorize additional funding to county health officials so that they can expand access to the flu shot. "But this season continues to be challenging, and we may be on track to break records".

The Bay State trendsmirror much of the country in terms of increases in influenza-related hospitalizations and outpatient visits.

"Symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, weakness, aches and pains", Edelman said in a lung association news release.

According to a new report from the state Department of Public Health, emergency room visits attributed to the flu spiked 14.2 percent from January 28 and February 3, the highest single-week increase since the swine flu epidemic struck in 2009.

Epidemiologists and virus experts don't have an explanation yet for why the flu this season has been worse than usual, Schuchat said.

This year's flu season has been dominated by H3N2, a particularly nasty strain which is linked to more severe illnesses, especially among adults over the age of 65 and children younger than 5.

In the weekly report, however, the CDC revealed that levels of H3N2 appear to be dropping.

Schuchat noted that while influenza A (H3N2) remains the predominant strain, influenza B viruses are comprising about 30% of viruses reported in this week's data. The governor says the move is aimed at accommodating New Yorkers still needing a flu shot. This is the 11th week of intense flu. Though this year's vaccine isn't a ideal match for the viruses in circulation, it's still the best way to protect against infection. Forbes reports it can take five to six months to develop a batch of influenza vaccines.

This year's flu is the worst in almost a decade. Some Local clinics are running short of flu vaccines. "It's the flu is nearly over and then there is sepsis or pneumonia", said John Mahan, Director of Nursing, Savannah Square.

Downes also recommended washing one's hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub for at least 20 seconds and disinfecting surfaces and objects that may, through habitual use, come into contact with an infected person.

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