Flu Season, Still Worsening, Now As Bad As 2009 Swine Flu

Model and Property Released

Model and Property Released

"This is a severe flu season, and unfortunately there are no signs that it has peaked yet", said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, MD, FACOG.

The agency reported that hospitalizations for this flu season have reached the highest levels since they began tracking these incidences in 2010, according to the release. "We could potentially see several more weeks of increased flu activity".

"I wish there were better news this week, but nearly everything we're looking at is bad news", Schuchat said. That figure includes the death of an 8-year-old girl in Queens who died earlier this week, one day after being diagnosed with the flu.

What continues to be be notable about this season in particular is the cumulative hospitalization rate among older adults ages 50-64 (63.1 per 100,000 compared to 35.1 per 100,000 in 2014-2015, CDC researchers said) and the rate of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness.

The CDC said at least 63 children have died this flu season, up from 10 reported last week.

A de Blasio spokesman said there were four pediatric flu deaths at this point in the 2016-17 flu season
A de Blasio spokesman said there were four pediatric flu deaths at this point in the 2016-17 flu season

It is not clear why this flu season is so intense and so unusually widespread - still causing wide swaths of misery in 48 states and high levels of illness in 43 of them as of February 3. Previous outbreaks had lasted between 11 and 20 weeks, and the current outbreak was in its 11th week, she said.

Doctors are reporting that some patients have been infected with H3N2, the primary A strain of the flu, along with a B strain.

Caused by viruses, flu is a contagious respiratory illness with mild to severe symptoms that can sometimes lead to death. Researchers noted that it is not uncommon to see influenza B activity, and "we usually see better vaccine protection against B viruses".

The CDC weekly influenza report shows that 17,101 laboratory-confirmed cases have led to hospitalizations between October 1, 2017, and February 3. Scientists are studying circulating viruses to see if anything unusual is going on, Schuchat said.

Another measure is the percentage of deaths attributed to flu or pneumonia, which often accompanies influenza. They're also more likely to be blocked by the flu vaccine.


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