BEACON TRANSCRIPT – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the 2018 flu season is as intense as the swine flu pandemic in 2009, and it is estimated to continue raging.
Influenza had an increased activity throughout January 14th – 20th and led to over 710,000 hospitalizations.
Around 34 million Americans have contracted the flu, and about 56,000 died this season due to the virus, according to health officials’ estimates.
Some of the most affected areas are California and the West Coast. Also, state leaders have issued an emergency order that allows pharmacists in New York to give vaccines to the underaged.
“We’ll expect something around those numbers,” said Dr. Daniel B. Jernigan, director of the CDC influenza division.
Last week, seven children died, which increased this flu season’s mortality rates to a total of 37 deaths. This strain of influenza is also hitting the 50 – 65 age group more than the infant group. As it is, patients over 65 are more likely to be hospitalized. Also, the current data is from last week. As it is, authorities are focusing on prevention.
Meanwhile, there is a shortage of antivirals in several areas, and the CDC is trying to provide the necessary medicines. As a solution, the agency representatives are recommending that all residents get the flu. They could use Internet sources, such as VaccineFinder, for example, to find suppliers.
Protection Measures During the 2018 Flu Season
Influenza strains typically affect the throat, nose and, in some cases, the lungs. They can then mutate into a contagious respiratory disease which can then be treated.
People that missed out on prevention (by not getting a vaccine) can ask for an influenza antiviral treatment. This is especially advised for children below the age of 5 and adults aged over 65, pregnant women, and people with other known medical conditions.
The flu is expected to continue affecting all American states with the exception of Hawaii, according to reports.
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