Flu season is coming in full drive — and it is extra extreme and widespread than years prior.
New York and 26 different states up to now have reported excessive “influenza-like” exercise, whereas Puerto Rico and 9 different states are presently experiencing average flu exercise, in line with the Middle for Illness Management’s weekly report.
This yr’s flu cycle kicked off considerably sooner than most years, with flu exercise spiking nationwide within the final week of December. 13 kids up to now have already died from flu-related sickness within the 2017-18 flu cycle, in line with the CDC.
The flu kills an estimated 36,000 folks a yr in the USA, although most die from problems from the virus fairly than the virus itself.
Younger kids, the aged and pregnant girls are at larger threat for extra extreme flu signs and problems.
A pregnant girl died from the flu in Tennessee earlier this week, making her the fourth particular person within the state to succumb to the sickness this season.
There are a number of components which have made this season’s flu particularly difficult.
Most flu sufferers this yr have been identified with a sort of influenza virus referred to as H3N2. This pressure of flu sometimes leads to a rise in hospitalizations in addition to deaths in younger kids and the aged. Consultants additionally famous vaccines are sometimes much less efficient on any such flu virus than others.
In line with the flu index, this season’s an infection charge is mimicking an infection patterns from that of the 2014-15 flu season, which was additionally a yr dominated by the H3N2 pressure.
Consultants have mentioned due to the pressure, this season’s vaccine could also be as little as solely 10% efficient in stopping infections, in comparison with the standard 30%.
Nonetheless, well being officers nationwide agree the easiest way to battle the flu is to get vaccinated in opposition to it. Consultants advocate getting vaccinated as quickly as doable, noting it take might as much as two weeks for antibodies that battle the flu to develop.
Whereas October is the perfect time to get the shot, getting vaccinated as late as January can nonetheless provide advantages and protections.
These contaminated with the flu already ought to keep away from contact with different folks and search out medical consideration.