Daily Brief: 2017.2.1
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 CDC reported three additional flu-associated pediatric deaths for the 2016-2017 season. The total number of pediatric deaths, as a result of the flu, now sits at 8 for the season.
(Sources: DG Alerts, 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)
During week 3 of reporting, the number of states reporting widespread flu activity increased from 29 states to 37 states. Regional influenza activity was reported by Guam and 12 states. Local influenza activity was reported by the District of Columbia and the state of Indiana.
- 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)