Sixteen flu-related deaths were reported Friday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at its weekly influenza report. That brings the whole number of esophageal flu-related deaths to 53 for the period, which began in October.
According to the report, flu activity is widespread in Puerto Rico and 48 countries down from 49 countries in the previous two weeks. Oregon joined Hawaii in reduced activity levels for the week ending January 27.
“Our most recent monitoring data indicate that influenza activity remains high and widespread throughout most of the country and increasing general,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat, the behaving CDC manager. “So far this calendar year, the cumulative rate of hospitalizations will be your greatest since we’ve been monitoring in this manner, which dates right back to 2010.
“This is a very difficult season,” she explained.
Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness with mild to severe symptoms that could at times lead to death.
The CDC also recorded an uptick in the percentage of patients that visited healthcare providers complaining of influenza-like illness throughout the country: 7.1% of patients to the week ending January 27, up from 6.5percent, and the recently revised estimated by the preceding week.
“We haven’t hit our peak yet, sadly,” CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund explained. “Actually, the main point is, there’s still probably many more weeks ahead.”
Schuchat said that there are hopeful signs within the CDC report.
“For the next week in a row, there are indications that activity in the West could be slipping,” she explained. “But we are by no means from the forests”
One of the worst lately
This year’s flu season is one of the worst in the past few years, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
The data revealed cases of sickness throughout the week ending January 27. These numbers don’t include.
The CDC has received reports of drug shortages Schuchat said. “However, the producers say that there’s product accessible. Pharmacists might want to boost supply on their shelves, and individuals might have to call over 1 pharmacy to fill their prescription”
US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb stated in announcement Thursday that a number of antivirals in addition to influenza evaluations are in short supply. “But at this moment, there is no nationwide shortage of these products,” Gottlieb explained.
Flu vaccines have been reported in short supply, but they are still accessible, Gottlieb explained. “I strongly urge anyone who has not had a flu shot to get one and anyone undergoing flu-like symptoms to promptly check with their healthcare provider about appropriate treatment options.”
Circulating virus strains
Circulating virus strains contained both B strains (Yamagata and Victoria), H1N1 and H3N2, according to the CDC. “It is an H3N2 season,” Fauci explained.
Historically, H3N2 strains are “bad actors,” he stated, understood to cause additional complications, hospitalizations and deaths.
This virus strain can be an obstacle to the year’s influenza vaccine. Researchers at Canada reported at a recent research the vaccine proved just 10% effective against the H3N2 virus, even although the flu shot gave greater protection against other presently circulating strains.
“News out of Canada is similar to what Australia reported,” Schuchat explained, adding the CDC’s interim report on preliminary medicine effectiveness will be printed in a few weeks. “This is consistent with all our worries.”
The hospitalization rate for its week of 2018 is about 51 people per 100,000, higher than at the fourth week at the 2014-15 season, which recorded about 43 people. Even the 2014-15 flu season was considered “fairly severe” by the CDC and was utilized as a comparison to the present season.
Dr. Dan Jernigan, manager of the flu division in the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, stated “lots of influenza happening nationwide concurrently over several weeks — that is an uncommon pattern for influenza in america. This season is turning out to be a particularly challenging one.”
The year had an hospitalizations with its end, he explained. This season hospitalizations rates in California are often times greater than now in 2014-15, although rates in Oregon and Minnesota are twice those found in 2014-15. Whether this tendency continues, the 2017-18 season “may well surpass” total hospitalizations throughout the 2014-15 season, Jernigan explained. Follow CNN Health on Facebook and Twitter
Approximately half of the children who have been hospitalized this season for flu-related triggers don’t have any inherent conditions, also Jernigan stated about half of the 53 children who perished were “otherwise healthy.”
The CDC has tracked pediatric deaths since 2004, he stated, and “since that moment, they’ve ranged from 37 to 171 during regular seasons; the greatest was through the 2009 pandemic, even when 358 pediatric deaths were reported”
The 2017-18 flu season “unquestionably falls into the bucket of a calendar year,” Fauci explained.
“This calendar year, 2017-18, for a strikingly long part of the season, fully parallels the 2014-15 season,” he explained. “Except that week or week before, 2014-15 began to plateau and flip around — but 2017-18 continued to move up.
“We very well might begin to see it peak and flip around,” Fauci said of the present flu season. “I really hope it will, because if it doesn’t, it’ll be a much worse year than we are thinking.”