US Officials Warn 'Intense' Flu Season to Continue, Urge Shots

US Officials Warn 'Intense' Flu Season to Continue, Urge Shots

Flu season is still raging in the United States, yet already it ranks among the most hard in recent years.

Mid-South emergency rooms are seeing an increase in the number of visits. The CDC does not have specific numbers on adult deaths but relies on centers throughout the country that provides nationally representative samples of flu deaths and put in proportion with the total number of deaths around the country.

The New Mexico Department of Health reported a continued increase in flu cases reported across the state in a news release on February 9, but while cases have continued to increase in the northern, central and southeastern parts of the state, the southwestern region, which includes Grant, Luna, Hidalgo, Catron, Sierra, Socorro and Dona Ana counties, has seen the only decrease, dropping from 7.4 percent to 6.9 percent last week.

The number of Minnesotans hospitalized with flu symptoms has topped 4,200.

"When I teach about flu vaccine, I ask students, 'Why do you need a new shot every year?' They always answer, 'because the strain changes from year to year, '" Weaver said.


"We continue to recommend parents get their children vaccinated even though it's late in the season", said Dr. Anne Schuchat, the acting CDC director. "If you got the flu shot but you end up catching the flu, it could be less severe and less likely to land you in the hospital", as Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar explained to CNN.

But Dr. Daniel Jernigan, director of the agency's influenza division, stressed earlier this month that getting the flu shot is still worthwhile, especially for kids. States are not required to report adult deaths. The vaccine was only 25 percent effective against that type. The percentage of deaths that could be attributed to the flu and pneumonia went down for the first time this season, the data showed. The vaccine provided 51 percent protection for children against H3N2, Schuchat noted, and was 59 percent effective against all strains for children.

So far this flu season, Walla Walla County has had two confirmed flu deaths and one death caused by the flu and other factors. Even though the vaccine is not as powerful as officials hoped, it can lessen the illness's severity, keep people out of the hospital, and save lives. Five of the pediatric deaths were attributed to influenza B infection, while the remaining 17 were linked to influenza A.

The CDC tested the now approved antiviral medications oseltamivir (brand name Tamiflu), peramivir (Rapivab) and zanamivir (Relenza Diskhaler) against the now circulating flu strains. Would you not get it? A slight dip in cases in Augusta and lower volumes might signal the season has passed an unusually high peak but the number of people sick is still straining health systems and cases of a second flu strain are also adding to the misery, officials said. "And covering when you cough".

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