CDC: More than six million people have had flu this season

14 January, 2019, 13:57 | Author: Lillian Steele
  • Flu taking toll in California, other states, but having milder impact nationwide, data show

The worst of Canada's flu season may be over, according to new national figures. Compare that to the same time previous year, and it was about 30 per 100,000 cases.

An estimated 6 million to 7 million people have had the flu so far this season. "Some people, such as older adults, young children, pregnant women, nursing home residents, and people with asthma, lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, or obesity, are more likely to develop flu-related complications".

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This flu season has been less severe than last year's, when 292 Oklahomans died and 4,835 were hospitalized.

Three preschoolers have died in Saskatchewan as a result of the flu so far this season, according to the provincial health ministry.

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By comparison, there were 195 pediatric hospitalizations over the same period last season.

For the week ending January 5, the cumulative rate stood at 9.1 influenza-associated hospitalizations per 100,000, compared with 22.7 per 100,000 a year ago. In the past, the CDC has waited until the end of the season to release estimates of how many people have been affected by flu.

If the current strain continues to be the predominant virus, it is what the head of the epidemiology and prevention branch of CDC's flu division expects. Fewer than half of Americans ever do.

Experts say it's not too late to reap the benefits of a flu vaccine. "Year in and year out, people who get a flu vaccine are better off than people who do not get vaccinated", the CDC said.

The CDC said that reported cases tend to increase in November before peaking between December and February. "People who are very sick or who are at high risk of serious flu complications and get flu symptoms should see a health care provider promptly for possible treatment with a flu antiviral drug", the CDC said.

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