Flu-related death of child reported in Wyoming

A man sneezing

A man sneezing

While federal officials were hoping that the flu season had already reached its peak, Anne Schuchat, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), had some unfortunate news that she shared with the Washington Post.

According to the CDC, 10 more pediatric flu deaths were reported last week, bringing the number of children who have died across the country to 63. "I wish there was better news, but everything we are looking at is bad news". The U.S. government's Friday, Feb. 9, 2018 flu report showed the flu has further tightened its grip on the U.S. This season is now as intense as the swine flu epidemic nine years ago.

The physician listened in on a briefing from C.D.C.on Friday morning.

Schuchat said it's not uncommon for there to be second waves of Influenza B later in a season. In the last five years, the CDC says influenza-like activity in the USA has remained elevated anywhere from 11 to 20 weeks, so we may have nearly two more months of misery. But there are other B strains also now going around and the vaccine is more effective against these viruses. Last year, 2,417 cases tested positive.

A third child has died of the flu this winter season, the city Health Department confirmed.

The highest hospitalization rates were among those over age 65. Those with symptoms, but who normally are healthy, are encouraged to stay home until they feel better.

The CDC started recommending universal vaccination to stop the spread of the virus in 2010, after previously targeting only those in high-risk groups who were most likely to die from an infection.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports flu activity is still on the rise with widespread outbreaks across the nation.

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health said the coroner notified them of the first death on January 31, and the second on February 8. "We are seeing a tremendous amount of confirmed influenza and influenza-like illness in the county and it's imperative that people get vaccinated as the first line of defense against the flu, especially the nasty H2N3 strain that is circulating".

"Flu is incredibly hard to predict", she said in a conference call with reporters Friday morning.

How can you tell if you have the flu, allergies or the traditional cold?

"Most don't need to be tested or see a doctor", Schuchat said.

Small children and the elderly are particularly at risk.

Levels of illness, based on outpatient visits and visits to emergency rooms, are "now as high as we observed at the peak of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic season", Schuchat said.

This means patients may have to call more than one outpatient clinics or pharmacies.

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