Severe cases in flu epidemic continue to rise, health officials say

Severe cases in flu epidemic continue to rise, health officials say

Severe cases in flu epidemic continue to rise, health officials say

In its weekly FluWatch report, the Public Health Agency of Canada says there were 29,037 laboratory-confirmed cases of flu across the country as of february 3 - almost 54 per cent attributed to an aggressive H3N2 strain - with more than 3,100 hospitalizations and 130 deaths.

Sixty-three children have died of the flu so far this season, with 10 dying in the past week.

Infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci says this year's flu season is "clearly one of the worst on record".

There were 40,414 deaths in the USA during the third week of 2018, the most recent data available, and 4064 were from pneumonia or influenza, according to the CDC data. "During most seasons, type B influenza cases are seen later in the season, so receiving a flu vaccine now can help protect against late season illness".

CDC data show 48 of the 50 states reporting high influenza-like illness.

Speaking after the news conference, World Health Organization spokesman Yan Jin confirmed that H3N2 strains are dominating in the United States this influenza season.

Governor Cuomo has also directed local health departments to re-focus enhanced outreach to vulnerable populations, including daycares, nursing homes, senior centers, and homeless shelters, to reemphasize the need for flu vaccinations, provide targeted education regarding the signs and symptoms of flu, and to identify and assist those populations with low vaccine rates.

Now in its 11th week of high activity, the current U.S. influenza season is still active in 48 states, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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

A nurse prepares a flu shot at the Salvation Army in Atlanta, Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018.

During the 2016-2017 flu season, there were eight pediatric deaths in NY, six of which occurred in the city, according to officials.

While most flu-seasons last about 16 weeks, some have gone as long as 20 weeks. Forbes reports it can take five to six months to develop a batch of influenza vaccines. Well, it's better than no protection at all, especially when the virus is basically everywhere.

Ross' vaccine is 90 percent to 95 percent effective in animal trials, he said, compared with about 30 percent for this year's human flu vaccine.

When asked if residents should be scared in light of the flu's potency, Downes emphasized the same common sense approaches that apply even in years when the virus is much less severe.

At Doctors Hospital of Augusta, the tide of misery has yet to turn, said Dr. Thomas Zickgraf, medical director of the Emergency Department. Instead, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue.

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