Million People Have Already Been Sick With the Flu Says CDC

Million People Have Already Been Sick With the Flu Says CDC

The worst of Canada's flu season may be over, according to new national figures. This is the first time these estimates- which cover the period from October 1, 2018 through January 5, 2019- are being provided during the flu season.

While states such as California and North Carolina have seen significant numbers of flu-related deaths this season, US health officials said Friday that the nationwide impact of influenza seems to be milder than last winter.

Public health officials are paying extra attention to how influenza is affecting children this year because of the resurgence of H1N1, a strain of influenza A that hits young people particularly hard and is best-known as the culprit behind the 2009-10 flu pandemic. This year, the season is unwrapping slower than those last year. None of those deaths have been children.

All three deaths occurred during the week ending December 29, 2018. As many as 83,500 people with the flu had been hospitalized by that date.

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"Calculations are based on adjusted rates of laboratory-confirmed, influenza-associated hospitalizations collected through a surveillance network that covers approximately 8.5 percent of the US population, or about 27 million people", the CDC said.

If the current strain continues to be the predominant virus, it is what the head of the epidemiology and prevention branch of CDC's flu division expects. "These new in-season estimates fill out the picture of the burden of flu in the United States", the agency said in a statement, adding that they will be updated weekly.

One Oklahoma County resident and 12 others around the state have died of flu so far this season, according to the Oklahoma City-County Health Department.

It's certainly within time to still get [the flu vaccine] now. "People who are very sick or who are at high risk of serious flu complications and get flu symptoms should see a health care provider promptly for possible treatment with a flu antiviral drug", the CDC said.

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