June 18, 2018

CDC: Nasty flu season appears to be easing up

10 March 2018, 04:17 | Winifred Adams

DPH 7 more deaths attributed to the flu in Connecticut

DPH 7 more deaths attributed to the flu in Connecticut

By comparison, there were 218 total deaths in the state during last year's flu season, which ended May 20.

The Washington Post reported that this flu season has sent more people to the hospital with the illness than any other season in almost a decade. Northern and Eastern Virginia were struck more severely than Central Virginia, according to health department data for the week ending March 3.

"The vaccine itself contains only purified parts of the virus; there is no live virus in the injectable vaccine, so it is impossible for the vaccine to cause the disease", said Vanderbilt University flu expert Dr. William Schaffner. This includes Puerto Rico, which is still dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

"Flu activity has apparently peaked in CT but remains high and widespread", the agency said in its weekly report Thursday.

The report, which accumulated flu data from October 1, 2017 to March 3, 2018, stated 207 Iowans have died this season due to influenza-related activity.

Since Aug. 27, 2017, a total of 2,273 patients statewide have been hospitalized with confirmed cases of flu.

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"CDC estimated that during seasons like those, influenza accounted for as many as 35.6 million illnesses, 16.6 million medically attended visits, 710,000 hospitalizations, and 56,000 deaths".

The hospital is also seeing fewer flu-confirmed cases in its clinics this week.

"On the down side, we'd certainly like to see that number always higher than it is". It has the highest number of year-to-date cases at 5,548.

As of March 11 of past year, public health officials say there were a total of 95 flu-associated deaths.

The Massachusetts Department of Health estimates between 250 and 1,100 Massachusetts residents die annually from complications of influenza. The most recent deaths are all in the age group 50 years and older. For the entire season so far, influenza A strains have been responsible for almost 73 percent of all cases, the CDC report noted.

Hospitalizations for flu in the metro Atlanta area dropped to 49 during February 18-24. All 10 regions reported percentages of such outpatient visits at or above their region-specific baselines during week 9.

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