Flu Season Has Claimed the Lives of 30 Children

A map of the country prepared by the CDC shows the flu is widespread everywhere but Hawaii

This year's flu season got off to an early start, and it's been driven by a nasty strain - the H3N2 virus - that tends to put more people in the hospital and cause more deaths than other flu bugs. Pennsylvania was in the lower, "moderate" category. The CDC furloughed the employees in charge of its flu-tracking efforts during the last shutdown, which spanned 16 days in October 2013, toward the beginning of that flu season.

"For a usual flu season, we see anywhere between 10 and 25 cases per week", Dr. DeLisle described. We don't exactly know what is it - these are not laboratory-confirmed flu cases - but more people are getting sick with this and with having the government closed down, a very tough situation grows graver. Flu-associated hospitalizations jumped last week, as the state continues to reel from a particularly bad flu season. "I would classify this season so far as pretty typical", Alles said.

The advice comes after claims that the Aussie flu epidemic could continue for another three months.

Usually, flu seasons start to wane after so much activity, but "it's hard to predict", Jernigan said.

The government shutdown is likely to stifle scientific research in the USA, particularly at health agencies like the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

According to the CDC, people at high risk for flu complications include children younger than five, adults 65 years and older and pregnant women. Nationally, there have been 30 pediatric deaths. Even when flu vaccine does not prevent illness, it still lessens the severity and shortens the duration of the flu, health officials said. And the latest data released Friday by the CDC showed another spike in flu activity, with the virus remaining geographically widespread.

That red line you are seeing on the chart above which is pinning upward in the middle of the chart is showing the number of flu-like predicaments told by the CDC's national network this year.

Pool also said it is important to seek treatment after coming down with the flu, and the flu can be treated within two weeks of speaking to a doctor.

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In a bad season, there as many as 56,000 deaths connected to the flu.

Recently Governor Cuomo called on all New Yorkers, six months of age and over who have not yet received a flu shot to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

However, the shot is more effective in preventing B strains and the H1N1 virus that are just beginning to emerge.

"When you get hit with the flu, you feel like you've been hit with a Mack truck", Avetian said. Lots of hand washing is always a good idea.

SIMPLY standing back when someone coughs or sneezes won't necessarily protect you from the flu - you also need to keep your distance when a sick person merely breathes. "You can't push the pause button on an experiment when you inject an animal with a particular substance to see what the response is, and then you have to go home for a week".

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