Friday, 18 January, 2019

CDC: Flu cases on the rise in the US

Doctors: Flu season only beginning in Michigan CDC: Widespread flu activity reported in Georgia
Melissa Porter | 31 December, 2018, 10:12

The percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for influenza viruses in clinical laboratories is increasing, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC recently released data on early season flu vaccination coverage in the U.S., with new numbers showing that vaccination rates are up compared to the same time last season.

As of the week ending December 22, nine states are experiencing high flu activity - Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico and SC - as well as New York City. These states include Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Carolina and New York City. Seven states and Puerto Rico are experiencing moderate flu activity. Since the beginning of flu season, there have been 186 cases and 10 deaths reported for all of Oklahoma.

The state confirmed Michigan's first flu-related death last week.

Doctors say flu season is typically October through May, but there is usually an uptick between November and February, so now is the most important time to get your flu vaccines.

Last year, CDC estimated that roughly 79,000 people with flu-like symptoms died, the highest since 2009, of which 185 were children under 18.

A total of 272 people have been identified as having come into contact with the baby, and 15 of them have developed a fever, cough and runny nose, Chuang said, adding that the people are being monitored until January 8. Many people people become ill suddenly and recover within a few weeks with rest.

Hand-washing, avoiding close contact, and good health habits can prevent the flu, but the CDC urges that the single best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated every year. People 65 years and older and also young children are highly susceptible to the disease and the CDC and OSDH highly recommend getting flu vaccinations.

"We want them to be done as early as possible but, if you haven't gotten the flu shot, it is not too late." said family physician Jennifer Caudle, M.D.