Sunday, 17 February, 2019

3 more kids die of influenza: US CDC report

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Ben Pena | 26 January, 2019, 09:27

Some experts said the nationwide death toll in the 2017-2018 season - 79,400 - was second only to the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic. This is down significantly from this time a year ago when between 10 and 12 percent of visits were linked to influenza.

The US flu season gained more steam last week, with most states reporting widespread activity and three more pediatric flu deaths, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in its weekly update today. "We have a lot more middle-aged people and children who are becoming very ill with the flu, needing to be hospitalized". "The flu season is not over".

Health officials in B.C. say this year's flu vaccine has been particularly effective.

Infants, young children, pregnant women, adults 65 and older, and those with medical conditions including immunocompromised individuals are especially at risk for a severe case of influenza.

PHAC collects data only on laboratory-confirmed cases of people who were tested after seeking medical attention.

The data came from the Canadian Sentinel Practitioner Surveillance Network, which provides samples that are used to determine the effectiveness of the flu vaccine. "It's pretty unusual to see young, otherwise healthy people die of the flu in non-pandemic years, but it does happen".

General Mills recalls Gold Medal flour over salmonella concerns
Advice for consumersFood that is contaminated with Salmonella bacteria usually does not look, smell or taste spoiled. The CDC estimates there are 1.2 million cases annually in the US , with about 450 ending in death.

There have been seven outbreaks in long-term care facilities investigated and seven schools across the state reported more than 10 percent absenteeism due to illness since the start of the flu season on August 30. Often times you see a spike in the "B" cases later on in the flu season. "It's not too late".

She adds older people seem to have some sort of resistance to that strain, but have still been dealing with H3N2, a type that has been more prevalent over the last couple of years.

Flu activity increased over the past week, squelching hopes of an early peak and leading at least 12 states to shut down some schools.

"We've got about 80 doing this on a fairly regular basis".

Last season, just 38 per cent of Canadian adults got the flu shot, with vaccine uptake varying by age and risk factors for complications, a PHAC spokesperson said.

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