The U.S. is being hit with one of many worst flu seasons in years, with 45 states reporting widespread sickness, in line with the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention — 4 instances as many as this time final 12 months. Consultants warn that younger youngsters are notably susceptible.
Shareeka Smith’s Eight-month-old son, Kingston, is a affected person at Texans Youngsters’s Hospital, combating the flu.
“About 4 days in the past he began respiration arduous, vomiting, having fever,” she instructed CBS affiliate KHOU.
“The flu could be very harmful. It isn’t your common virus that provides you a pair days of runny nostril,” stated Dr. Claire Bocchini, an infectious illness specialist at Texas Youngsters’s Hospital.
Eight-month-old Kingston was hospitalized with the flu in Houston.
CBS Information medical contributor Dr. Tara Narula studies that the pressure of flu that is spreading this season, H3N2, tends to hit youthful and older individuals more durable than others.
“It is a dangerous bug,” stated Dr. Daniel Jernigan, director of the CDC’s Influenza Division. “In years when there may be H3N2, we do see that there are extra deaths.”
13 youngsters throughout the U.S. have already died of the flu this season.
In keeping with the CDC, youngsters youthful than 5 are at larger danger of growing severe flu-related problems — and infants beneath the age of two, much more so.
“Their lungs, their immune programs are nonetheless growing, particularly the youthful ones, and they also have much more problems,” Bocchini defined.
The CDC estimates that since 2010, flu-related hospitalizations amongst youngsters youthful than 5 ranged from 7,000 to 26,000 a 12 months within the U.S. For the reason that 2004-2005 flu season, between 37 and 171 youngsters have died of the flu every year.
Adults age 65 and over are additionally at larger danger.
To assist cut back the danger of catching or spreading the flu, well being officers are encouraging frequent hand-washing all through the day.
“Earlier than snack time, earlier than meal instances, earlier than and after potty,” Rachel Sherman, a instructor on the Jewish Council for Youth Providers Early Childcare Heart, instructed CBS Chicago.
“We have been hit final month fairly badly truly,” she continued. “[The flu] took out a number of of our lessons and even lecturers.”
CBS Chicago studies 10-year-old boy within the space died of the flu on New Yr’s Eve after the virus attacked his coronary heart.
“We have seen 675 instances of the flu over the past two weeks,” Dr. Stephen Epner of Physicians Fast Care instructed the station. In any respect 31 Physicians Fast Care areas, docs are seeing a 20 p.c spike in sufferers.
“It looks like it is about 30 to 50 p.c worse than the earlier 2 to three years,” Epner stated.
Throughout the nation, it is a related scenario. Making issues worse, there’s an ongoing scarcity of IV luggage – produced in factories in storm-ravaged Puerto Rico – that are wanted to ship medication and deal with dehydrated sufferers at hospitals.
In California, flu-related deaths are notably excessive. Officers have reported 27 flu-related deaths amongst Californians beneath age 65. The state usually sees three or 4 such deaths by this time within the season, officers stated.
The one greatest technique to defend youngsters and adults from the flu is to get a flu shot. In keeping with the CDC, everybody 6 months of age and older ought to get a seasonal flu vaccine every year. And regardless that the flu season is already underway, it is not too late to get the shot.
“Proper now the CDC is estimating that the vaccine effectiveness is at about 32 p.c. Whereas it is not 100 p.c it’s nonetheless efficient for a big proportion of the inhabitants,” stated Dr. Jennifer Layden, chief medical officer on the Illiniois Division of Public Well being.
“Even should you get the flu, with a vaccine, it is extra gentle, you are much less more likely to go to the hospital and also you’re contagious for a much less period of time. It isn’t too late to get the vaccine for this season,” Layden stated.
The CDC additionally recommends the next tricks to maintain you and your loved ones secure from the flu:
Attempt to keep away from shut contact with sick individuals.
Whereas sick, restrict contact with others as a lot as attainable.
If you’re sick with flu-like sickness, keep dwelling for no less than 24 hours after your fever is gone besides to get medical care or for different requirements.
Cowl your nostril and mouth with a tissue while you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue within the trash after you utilize it.
Wash your arms usually with cleaning soap and water. If cleaning soap and water are usually not obtainable, 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 that could be contaminated with germs just like the flu.