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Seasonal Flu Activity Continues to Climb in United States

Article source:Station editor Update time:2017-12-27 11:21:05   Browsing times:second

As February begins, influenza activity in the United States continues to increase. According to the CDC's FluView report(www.cdc.gov) for the week ending Jan. 21, the number of states reporting widespread flu activity during the 2016-2017 season jumped to 37 from 29 the previous week.  

 
Three flu-associated pediatric deaths were reported to the agency the same week, bringing the total number of pediatric deaths to eight for the season. Two of those deaths were associated with an influenza A (H3) virus and occurred during the week ending Jan. 14. The third death was related to an influenza B virus and occurred during the week ending Jan. 21.
 
The percentage of patients seeing their physician for influenza-like illness (ILI) has been at or above the national baseline for six consecutive weeks so far this season, with influenza A (H3) viruses predominantly responsible for those visits. During the week ending Jan. 21, 3.4 percent of patients saw a health care professional for ILI, compared with the national baseline level of 2.2 percent, and all regions reported ILI at or above their region-specific baseline levels.
 
Flu Shot Reminder
 
CDC officials continue to recommend that everyone 6 months and older receive an annual flu vaccination. It's still not too late to get a flu shot this season, said the agency in the report, and physicians should recommend that all patients who have not yet received the shot do so now.
 
For the 2016-2017 season, the CDC recommends use of the inactivated influenza vaccine and the recombinant influenza vaccine. The agency reminds physicians not to use the nasal spray flu vaccine (live attenuated influenza vaccine) this season and offers a handout(www.cdc.gov) to explain why to patients.