This yr’s flu season has been dominated by a very nasty bug, and well being officers say it has now reached virtually each nook of the nation. In a press convention on Friday morning, the CDC says flu season seems to be peaking.
“We noticed that the season began earlier again in November and has had a very fast rise and might be peaking proper about now,” stated Dr. Dan Jernigan, M.D., Captain of U.S. Public Well being Service and Director of the Influenza Division on the Nationwide Heart for Immunization and Respiratory Illnesses. “Flu is in every single place in the US proper now … There’s a lot of flu in a lot of locations.”
Flu is now widespread in each state besides Hawaii. It has reached epidemic ranges, which it does yearly, Jernigan stated.
However whereas consultants say the flu season could have reached its peak, they warn it’ll take many extra weeks for flu exercise to really decelerate.
This yr’s flu season has been dominated by the H3N2 pressure, which is linked to extra extreme sicknesses particularly amongst adults over the age of 65 and kids youthful than 5.
“This pressure is related to extra circumstances and extra hospitalizations and extra deaths,” Jernigan stated.
This week’s flu stats are significantly sobering relating to pediatric deaths. Within the first week of 2018, seven extra youngsters died from the flu, bringing the full quantity to 20 thus far for the season.
Hospitalizations are additionally on the rise, significantly amongst adults over the age of 50 and kids underneath the age of 5. Some hospitals in California have been so overwhelmed that they needed to ship sufferers to different ERs.
Heartbreaking tales have been circulating within the media this week about youngsters and younger adults dying from the flu. In Ohio, Richard and Valerie Rieben are mourning the dying of their Four-year-old son, Jonah, from Flu. In line with CBS Information’ Dr. Jonathan LaPook, he had underlying well being circumstances.
“One of the tough issues that i’ve ever needed to do was to inform my different youngsters on Saturday morning that their little brother wasn’t coming dwelling,” stated Valerie Rieben.
CBS Chicago reported on a 10-year-old boy within the space who died New 12 months’s Eve after the flu virus attacked his coronary heart. And the Washington Publish shared the story of Kyler Baughman, a 21-year-old health buff and aspiring private coach from Pennsylvania who thought he may push by the sickness however ended up dying when the flu progressed to organ failure and septic shock.
This all serves as a reminder, Jernigan says, that whereas most individuals get better from flu after just a few days, it may well additionally result in extreme sickness and dying in others.
The very best safety towards the flu is the flu vaccine. Whereas stories earlier this season cautioned that the vaccine could solely be 10 p.c efficient – as occurred in Australia – Jernigan stated the estimates for this yr are possible within the 30 p.c vary.
Specialists urge everybody 6 months of age and older get the flu shot, because it helps cut back the possibility of sickness from the flu and can even reduce the severity of the signs should you do get sick.
If you have not gotten your flu shot but, officers say it isn’t too late.
Different commonsense practices may also help you keep away from getting sick and forestall the unfold of the flu:
Keep away from shut contact with sick individuals.
Whereas sick, restrict contact with others as a lot as doable.
Cowl your nostril and mouth with a tissue if you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue within the trash after you utilize it.
Wash your palms typically with cleaning soap and water. If cleaning soap and water usually are not out there, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
Keep away from touching your eyes, nostril and mouth. Germs unfold this fashion.
Clear and disinfect surfaces and objects which may be contaminated with germs just like the flu.