Daily Brief: 2017.1.23
Flu cases continue to rise
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu cases in the United States are continuing to rise. Most notably, the most recent report released by the CDC highlighted the death of two pediatric patients. The total number of pediatric deaths, as a result of the flu, now sits at five over the last 2 weeks.
(Sources: CIDRAP, CDC)
So far this year, the most common strain of influenza circulating is Influenza A H3N2. The strain is reportedly known to cause more severe illness, especially in young children and people 65 and older. Influenza A H3N2 variant viruses were first detected in people in July 2011. The viruses were first identified in U.S. pigs in 2010. During 2011, 12 human infections with H3N2v were detected. During 2012, there were multiple outbreaks of H3N2v resulting in 309 reported cases.
(Sources: CDC, CBS News)
The number of states reporting widespread flu activity rose from 21 to 29. States experiencing high flulike illness include Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Tennessee. States experiencing moderate flulike illness include Alabama, Alaska, Georgia, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming.
- The first and most important step in preventing flu is to get a flu vaccination each year. All children over 6 month of age should be vaccinated against influenza.
- Vaccination is especially important for people at higher risk of serious influenza complications, and for people who live with or care for high risk individuals.
- CDC also recommends everyday preventive actions such as staying away from people who are sick, covering coughs and sneezes and frequent handwashing.
(Sources: CDC, WHO)