CDC: 14% of all Texas deaths related to flu

Worsening Flu Season Has Many Afraid, Grieving

Worsening Flu Season Has Many Afraid, Grieving

"I wish there was better news, but everything we are looking at is bad news", says Schuchat in CDC's weekly flu surveillance report.

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

Another 10 children were reported to have died of the flu in the week ending February 3, bringing the total infant mortality so far this season to 63, Dr. Anne Schuchat, the CDC's acting director, told reporters.

Influenza-like Illness Surveillance: For the week ending February 3, the proportion of people seeing their health care provider for influenza-like illness (ILI) was 7.7%, which is above the national baseline of 2.2% and is the highest ILI percentage recorded since the 2009 pandemic.

"I wish there was better news this week, but nearly everything we're looking at is bad news", Dr. Anne Schuchat, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said during a news conference Friday. "We could see more weeks of increased flu activity".

About half of the children who've had to be hospitalized had been healthy previously. "This isn't really an unexpected finding as we often do see increases in influenza B activity later in the flu season". The majority of deaths have been adults over age 65.

'Unfortunately, more deaths are likely to happen... we do expect and it would make sense to see more pneumonia and influenza-related deaths, ' said Schuchat, according to.

Flu shots are now available at all Rite Aid pharmacies and are covered by most insurance plans with $0 co-pay, including Medicare Part B. Rite Aid certified immunizing pharmacists are able to administer flu shots, subject to state regulations, during pharmacy hours; no appointment is necessary.


"This season is now following within expected range in terms of the number of weeks of elevated activity, but the actual level of activity is pretty remarkable", Budd observed.

The virus causing the most illness has been around for decades.

Despite this, it's still recommended that people get the flu shot, if only to prevent them from getting the flu a second time after coming down with a case of the H3N2 virus, Schuchat said.

There are early indications, including data from Australia and Canada, that vaccination against H3N2 was less effective than usual this year, in the range of 10% to 17%, instead of the usual 30% or so.

The number was even higher in Texas, with 14 percent of the deaths during that period being flu-related. A total of 124,316 Americans caught the flu since the start of the season.

"We recognize that this issue is personal to so many families and that there is a lot of fear and alarm", she said.

Through the end of December, ILI was tracking very closely with the 2014-2015 and 2012-2013 seasons, she added.

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