Flu widespread in Virginia, health officials say

05 January, 2019, 03:55 | Author: Lillian Steele
  • First case of flu confirmed in the city

The flu activity level also has changed from "sporadic" to "regional", according to the health department's weekly influenza updates.

Of the 185 children who died from the flu past year, 80% had not received a flu shot, according to the CDC.

The girl, who did not get the flu jab either, was admitted to Princess Margaret Hospital on December 26. This week two more children have died from flu, bringing the total to 13.

The H1N1 strain tends to cause milder illness than H3N2, the predominant strain during last year's particularly severe flu season, and vaccination tends to be more effective against H1N1 than H3N2.

For the same week a year ago (week 51, December 17-23, 2017), the CDC reported three influenza-associated pediatric deaths. The year before, the cost of treating flu patients across the country came out to just over $10 billion, according to a report from CNBC. The proportion of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness was significantly higher, at 5 percent, and eventually peaked at 7.5 percent later in the season.

Pharmacies like CVS on Davis Street in Scranton are busy as cold and flu season are underway. Prior to this week's report, the flu activity was described as "moderate" and "regional", indicating the spread has increased over the past few weeks.

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Dr. William Schaffner, who studies the flu, says that's not unusual; when flu kills a child, it often happens quickly.

Find out more about the flu in Iowa, here.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services says they're expecting the flu to get worse, telling us the virus is in what they call an "acceleration stage". Both of them were over 65 years old. "It takes up to two weeks to develop the vaccine's full protection, and the benefits last for up to a year". This year's vaccine covers four strains of the flu expected to be prominent.

It is not too late to get the flu shot, for those who have not done so yet.

According to the CDC, everyone older than six months should get a flu vaccine.

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