Health officials: Third NYC child dies of the flu

Posted February 10, 2018

This flu season remains significantly on the increase in MA, according to the state Department of Public Health's Weekly Influenza Update.

But infectious disease experts and doctors working on the front lines said there are signs that the season may finally be winding down, with slightly fewer hospitalizations and visits to emergency rooms and health clinics in recent weeks. "Hoosiers should do everything they can to protect themselves and their families, including getting a flu vaccine and staying home if they're sick".

The levels of influenza-like illnesses being reported in the U.S. now are as high as the peak of the swine flu epidemic in 2009, and exceed the last severe seasonal flu outbreak in 2003 when a new strain started circulating.

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At long-term care facilities in Minnesota, 13 outbreaks were reported in the week ending February 3, the state health department reported.

"In people who are between the ages of 40 and 49, born after the 1968 pandemic, we've noticed preliminary data suggesting a lower susceptibility to H3N2 and higher to H1N1", Gagnon said. "Patients may have to call more than one pharmacy, but antivirals should be used".

The flu epidemic remains widespread in almost all states, and experts say it could be a record-breaking season. That means a vaccine may be effective in one city, but less effective in another if the strain changes by the time it crosses the country.

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The Cuomo admin says the weekly number of lab-confirmed cases and hospitalizations for the flu was the highest on record since reporting began in 2004.

Swine flu, which swept the globe in 2009 and 2010, sickened 60.8 million Americans, hospitalised 274,304 and killed 12,469, according to CDC data. Adults aged 50 to 64 were hospitalized at a rate of 63.1 per 100,000 population, and children aged 4 years and younger at 40.0 per 100,000 population. The Department is aware of some localized shortages of specific formulations of influenza antivirals, particularly the oseltamivir oral suspension and generic oseltamivir capsules. The virus is then killed or purified before being added to vaccines.

Carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to use when soap and water are not available.

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Influenza is a viral infection of the respiratory tract and is spread by droplets released when infected people cough or sneeze nearby or when people touch surfaces or objects contaminated with those infectious respiratory droplets.

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene reported the fatality on Friday, and urged both parents and children to get vaccinated.

"Unfortunately, more deaths are likely to happen", Schuchat said.

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