February 16, 2019

CDC warns flu season may not have peaked

09 February 2018, 10:06 | Randall Craig

A box of masks is shown in the emergency room at Palomar Medical Center in Escondido California Thomson Reuters

A box of masks is shown in the emergency room at Palomar Medical Center in Escondido California U.S

"The flu is incredibly hard to predict, and we don't know if we've hit the peak yet".

Flu infection rates are rising higher than those in any year since 2009, when the swine flu pandemic hit the country, according to the CDC.

The CDC also reported an additional 10 pediatric deaths related to flu, bringing the reported total this season to 63.

Two other strains are on the rise, however, and they generally cause milder symptoms.

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

The latest FluView data found that flu-related deaths rose to 10.1% - far above the epidemic threshold figure of 7.3%.

"There might be a second wave of influenza B infections", she said. "We are waiting week to week to see what activity looks like". "We could potentially see several more weeks of increased flu activity". OR and Hawaii, the exceptions, both recorded regional activity for the fifth week of the year.

The CDC weekly influenza report shows that 17,101 laboratory-confirmed cases have led to hospitalizations between October 1, 2017, and February 3.

Hospitalizations for this year's flu season reached the highest levels since HHS began tracking such data closely in 2010.

"That's a signal of how very intense this flu season has been", she noted.

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

Although the majority of flu-related deaths in IN have occurred in individuals age 65 and older, almost 83 percent of the influenza-like illnesses reported to ISDH this year involve individuals age 24 and younger, according to the ISDH.

Dr Fauci briefed attendees on the NIAID's research efforts to develop a more effective flu vaccine, including a universal candidate, while Dr Kadlec discussed private sector efforts in progress to produce a greater volume and pandemic flu vaccine that has greater efficacy, according to the release.

"It's a little too early to say we're out of the woods or to say that flu is abating", Nordlund said.

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