Monday, 17 June, 2019

Flu season poised to be milder than last year's

Flu shot. File Flu shot. File
Gustavo Carr | 13 January, 2019, 19:14

As many as 7.3 million people have already gotten the flu this season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) first real-time flu severity estimates.

Like the three previous deaths, the department said the latest victim was over the age of 50.

"According to the CDC, we now have a high moderate regional outbreak", said James Frame, an emergency room physician at Wilson N. Jones Regional Medical Center in Sherman. Typically, the CDC waits until the end of flu season before calculating the estimates.

While states such as California and North Carolina have seen significant numbers of flu-related deaths this season, US health officials said Friday that the nationwide impact of influenza seems to be milder than last winter.

The number of confirmed cases within the region remains high. As the flu season is just beginning to peak, numbers of people showing symptoms or are considered with the sickness skyrocket.

Conditions such as asthma, heart disease, diabetes, kidney or liver disorders and obesity can make a person more likely to develop complications from the flu.

One death was associated with an influenza A (H3) virus, one death was associated with an influenza A (H1N1) pdm09 virus and one death was associated with an influenza A virus for which no subtyping was performed.

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Dr. Givelichian said another six children in the province have been treated for influenza in intensive-care units. "It does not, and the vaccine is safe for pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy", he said.

Although the vaccine isn't 100 percent effective in preventing flu, people who are vaccinated and get the flu get a much milder case, Gupta noted.

CDC continues to recommend flu vaccination as the best way to reduce the risk of flu and its potentially serious complications, including death in children.

"Getting the flu vaccine early in pregnancy is one of the most important things you can do for yourself as an expecting mom", he said.

"Here's another proactive step you can take to protect your baby", Gupta said of a flu shot.

He said there are another 25,000 vaccines on order.