Published: Fri, December 15, 2017
Medical | By Alyssa Little

Flu-related deaths higher than previously reported

Flu-related deaths higher than previously reported

Gale Burstein says it may or may not be completely effective against the flu virus variants circulating this year, but it is a lot better than no protection. Persons over the age of 65 years will receive the seasonal flu vaccine free of charge.

Meanwhile, flu activity in CT is climbing steadily. Despite the World Health Organization's recommendation to vaccinate people in high-risk populations, few developing countries have seasonal flu vaccination programs or the capacity to produce and distribute seasonal or pandemic vaccines.

Across the Commonwealth, the highest number of flu-related hospital visits reported are in very young children - from newborn to four-years-old. There were no deaths.

Over the past week in North Dakota, there were 104 new cases of the flu.

There have been 612 influenza-related hospitalizations reported, and no reports of pediatric deaths from influenza.

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IN has already had one confirmed death this flu season; the victim was under the age of 18.

Yet an expert from the state DPH said it's a bit early to push the panic button and declare this season's vaccine ineffective. The findings noted that flu activity was low during October, but began to increase once November hit. "Although the flu numbers from Australia are concerning and bear watching, the implications for the USA are not known at this point".

"Even if you still get the flu, vaccination can reduce the length of time you are sick", she said.

The CDC offers a number of tips to help prevent the spread of the flu.

"It is concerning, because we plan for our influenza season based on what's going on in the Southern Hemisphere, but that doesn't necessarily mean that our vaccine's gonna be 10% effective during our season", said Brock. "It can change for the worse or the better".

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Caldas said he believes Southcoast Health's hospitals and Urgent Care centers are "fully supplied for the season". In the event you get vaccinated and still get the flu, which is admittedly possible, the flu shot may make your illness milder, which would be greatly appreciated by anyone who has experienced influenza.

In Connecticut, influenza A viruses are dominating in the state, as they are nationwide.

According to the report, there have been 133 confirmed cases to date of influenza A in the state, and 44 confirmed cases of influenza B. Almost 90 percent of the specimens that tested positive are of this type.

Hartford County was close behind, with 43 cases, and New Haven County was a distant third with 26.

Danielle Iuliano, PhD, the study's lead author who is a researcher in the CDC's influenza division, said in a CDC press release, "This work adds to a growing global understanding of the burden of influenza and populations at highest risk". The estimate also took into account several recent respiratory mortality studies, including one published in the Lancet on Thursday by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Massachusetts, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Virginia, according to the CDC's interactive flu surveillance map.

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