Flu season on track to be worst in a decade

Share

University spokesperson John Karman said as of January 29, 40 people have tested positive for the flu or flu-like illnesses at U of L campuses.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth to prevent the spread of germs. "Older adults, individuals with chronic health conditions, pregnant women, young children, and infants are more vulnerable to flu illness", said DCHHS medical director Christopher Perkins, DO, MPH, in a recent statement.

Each year flu viruses cause millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospital stays and thousands or tens of thousands of deaths in the United States.

Last week, 21 people in North Carolina-including a 6-year-old girl in Wake County-died from influenza (flu) and state health officials fear the worst is yet to come. In the tropics, the rate of infection is more constant throughout the year.

"I'm very concerned by the impact and the severity of the flu season this year", Gov. Asa Hutchinson said at a state Capitol news conference with Arkansas Department of Health officials.

"Instead of being imprinted with an H3, they got imprinted with an H2", Miller said.

More news: Gov. Abbott orders Texas Rangers investigation into allegations at Karolyi Ranch
More news: You Can Now Add GIF Stickers To Your Instagram Stories
More news: Chelsea warned Eden Hazard could complete world record move to Real Madrid

The western region of MA had the largest number of laboratory confirmed cases of the flu last week and three regions in eastern MA are "in the red" on the health department flu map. That suggests the total could go much higher. "This season it's been longer", he said.

"Typically with the flu you have very high fevers", Canfield explained.

"That is lower than the vaccination levels in the general population so we interpret that as, unfortunately, opportunities missed", he said.

Despite the effectiveness of this year's vaccine, Myron Cohen, a UNC professor of epidemiology, said the benefits of the vaccine stretch beyond just protection from contracting the virus. Schools are in session and workers are less likely to take vacation during the winter months, which tends to keep of us physically closer to each other.

Who is most at risk? "I may be fine, but they're not". If the flu is severe enough, a visit to the doctor's office for a prescription of antivirals, such as Tamiflu, will help cut down the duration of the sickness.

Michael Osterholm, who directs The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota recently wrote an op-ed in the New York Times and said this year's flu is simply showing us "how ill prepared we are for even "ordinary" flu", because we don't have a universal flu vaccine that would protect us from the viruses for life.

Share