Flu Season: It's Not Too Late To Vaccinate

Bryan Strickland
February 15, 2018

"Erie County's flu seasons lasts well into the spring, so we still have a few months of potentially prevalent disease on our community", she said. The last season that gave similar numbers was in 2003.

This year's risky flu season shows no sign of waning, and "may be on track to break some recent records". A little less than two percent of visits are normally for flu or flu-related illness. If you haven't already received your flu shot it's not too late.

Since the Spanish Flu pandemic (which killed 50 million), there have been three flu pandemics, according to the Washington State Department of Health, in 1957, 1968 and 2009, the latter being when a strain of the flu known as H1N1 killed about 284,000 people worldwide.

Deaths due to flu in babies have been notifiable since 2004 and it is because of this that the CDC can keep tracks of the number of deaths and other details of the victims. The highest number of deaths were reported in the age group of less than 6 months and then babies between 6 and 23 months of age. About 65% died within 7 days of symptom onset. It is possible to come down with both an A-strain and B-strain flu in the same year (and even at the same time). "Facilities that are experiencing high rates of flu should ensure that they are cleaning and disinfecting regularly and that ill individuals are isolated to help prevent additional cases of the flu".

Dr. Marshall made it very clear that although the flu vaccine is less effective this year than it has been in years previous, students should still get vaccinated. The flu has claimed the lives of seven Texas children in all. The team said some have suggested the possibility of slower development of age-related immune response to influenza B.

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Here in Riverside County, deaths have almost doubled, bringing the deaths of people under the age of 64 who've died of flu related illness to 20. Edwards wondered. She also noted that bronchiolitis was diagnosed in 22 deaths.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick. They also advise parents if they have a sick child and a healthy child, do not bring the healthy child to the hospital or doctor's office waiting room.

While some counties were reporting less new cases, it was unclear Friday based on surveillance data if this season's influenza has hit it's peak in California.

Edwards said important lessons from the new study are that flu vaccination coverage in children must be improved, as does maternal vaccination, given that only one-third of pregnant women are immunized against flu in the recent season.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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