ibusinesslines.com March 21, 2018

CDC: Number of flu-related pediatric deaths rises to 20

14 January 2018, 01:25 | Melissa Porter

Newfoundland and Labrador has seen a slight increase in its flu vaccination rate over last year

Flu shot immunization innoculation influenza health syringe needles

Those deaths bring the total number of fatal pediatric flu cases to 20.

Alabama has experienced an influx of flu cases over the last several weeks, creating a "crisis situation" where hospitals in seven of the state's eight health districts are at 90 percent capacity, the state's acting chief health officer said Friday.

"We're all very concerned in public health that it may be a severe year", said Randi Pedersen, an epidemiologist who monitors flu in Idaho. That is better than the 10 percent effectiveness reported in Australia, which has its flu season before the United States does and often predicts what will happen in this country.

"CDC has been in regular contact with influenza antiviral manufacturers regarding supply and other issues", he said.

"Most of the in-patients are here for medical reasons other than the flu", Dossey said.

This increase comes at a time when hospital workers are scrambling to deal with an ongoing shortage of intravenous fluids used to deliver medicine and treat dehydrated patients.

Health Minister John Haggie says Newfoundland and Labrador has had 16 lab-confirmed cases of the flu so far this season

Cold symptoms include a cough, raised temperature, runny nose and a sore throat, but luckily for sufferers, these symptoms should ease fairly quickly. While most circulating flu is influenza A subtype H3N2, which the seasonal flu vaccine does not perform well against, the vaccine should offer substantial protection for subtypes H1N1 and influenza B.

The CDC is warning that all high-risk patients with flu symptoms should be treated with antiviral drugs as soon as possible.

MSHA has reported 174 flu cases in the past week alone, while Wellmont has also seen a sharp increase in the number of cases, with 267 diagnosed cases between December 24 and December 31. "Today alone we've seen 5-6 Tamiflu prescriptions come in and last flu season between October to January we filled only two Tamiflu prescriptions so a huge increase this year".

Dr. Safranek said although the flu shot won't make you bullet proof, it's still your best defense along with some other advice. Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

Flu season is well on its way to peaking early. The influenza vaccine is typically more effective against influenza B, which reiterates how important it is for New Yorkers to get vaccinated. "They can also take a number of proactive steps to lower the chances they and others will be infected with the flu, such as washing hands frequently, covering their cough and not touching their eyes, nose and mouth".

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