This season’s influenza outbreak is nothing short of an epidemic. And this epidemic is starting to bring tragedy to many corners of our country.
Additionally, there were 11,718 new laboratory-confirmed influenza cases during that same week bringing the season total to 60,161. This total does not include the many unreported cases of flu where people affected with influenza have not sought medical treatment.
“Flu is everywhere in the US right now,” said Dr. Dan Jernigan, director of the CDC’s influenza branch. “This is the first year we’ve had the entire continental US at the same level (of flu activity) at the same time.”
Flu is more likely to affect the elderly and the very young, as well as those experiencing other illnesses. This reality has amplified this flu season. Based on data from the National Center for Health Statistics, 7 percent of all deaths for those considered elderly occurring during the week ending December 23rd was due to pneumonia and influenza. This is above the normal rate.
The effectiveness of the flu vaccine this flu season is calculated at 30 percent. This is because the most common strain of influenza making people sick is the nasty H3N2 strain. The H3N2 strain produces more severe cases of flu and disproportionately affects older people.
This flu season it is important to drink fluids, execute excellent hand-washing techniques, eat healthily and live a healthy lifestyle. It is your best bet for beating the flu!
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