16 More Children Dead From Flu And The peak Is Yet To Come, CDC says

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Sixteen flu-related deaths have been reported on Friday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in its weekly flu report.

This brings the number of pediatric flu-related deaths to 53 in total for the season, which started in October.

According to the report, influenza activity is now widespread in 48 states and Puerto Rico, down from 49 states in the previous 2 weeks.

Oregon has joined Hawaii in lower activity levels for the week ending January 27.

Our latest tracking data indicate that flu activity is still high and widespread across most of the nation and increasing overall,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat, the acting CDC director. “So far this year, the cumulative rate of hospitalizations is the highest since we’ve been tracking in this way, which goes back to 2010.This is a very difficult season,” she said.

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by viruses with mild to severe symptoms that can sometimes lead to death.

The CDC has also recorded an increase in the percentage of patients who visited health care providers complaining of influenza-like illness across the nation: 7.1% of patients for the week ending January 27, up from 6.5%, the newly revised estimated from the previous week.

We have not hit our peak yet, unfortunately,” CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund said. “Really, the bottom line is, there is still likely many more weeks to go.”

Schuchat said that there are hopeful signals within the CDC’s latest report.

“For the second week in a row, there are signs that activity in the West may be easing up,” she said. “However, we are by no means out of the woods.”

This year’s flu season is rivaling to be the worst in recent years, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Overall, the data indicated 17,024 new laboratory-confirmed cases of illness during the week ending January 27, bringing the season total to 126,117. These numbers don’t include all the people who have had the flu, as many do not see a doctor when sick.

Image from NetDoctor

The CDC received reports of antiviral drug shortages in some places, Schuchat also said.

“However, the manufacturers say that there’s product available. Pharmacists may want to increase supply on their shelves, and patients may have to call more than one pharmacy to fill their prescription.”

Circulating virus strains include both B strains (Yamagata and Victoria), H1N1 and H3N2, according to the CDC.


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