CDC reports flu season is similar to 2009 swine flu

A man sneezing

A man sneezing

State health officials say the number of lab-confirmed flu cases continues to rise, with 15,750 reported since last week, including about 2,350 who needed hospitalization.

And they don't know when it will end. Researchers noted that it is not uncommon to see influenza B activity, and "we usually see better vaccine protection against B viruses".

This season has also seen the highest flu hospitalization rate since 2010, according to a KSDK report. During an intense season like this one it is possible to get an infection with both A strain viruses and B strain viruses at the same time and people definitely get sick twice from the flu, with first one strain than another, she said. It missed the most important strain.

"In the research I've done, it seems to be that the flu is actually not the actual cause of the mortalities".

Several factors have made this season especially rough, but the main issue is that the dominant flu strain is an aggressive one. Among all ages, more than 80 deaths have been recorded here. The illness is widespread in all states but Hawaii and Oregon.

A hospital in Allentown, Pa., put up a "surge tent" in the parking lot to handle the overflow.

It's an unexpected phenomenon that public health experts are still trying to decode.

Within the past seven days, 10 more children have died across the country, bringing the season's total to 63.

'The flu is incredibly hard to predict and we don't know if we've hit the peak yet, ' Dr Schuchat said.

"We may be on track to break some recent records", added Dr. Anne Schuchat while updating reporters on the latest data. Historically speaking, February is the worst month for flu activity.

"We'll be looking at what people come back from the Olympics with", Silvers said. "Even though we were talking about it and medical professionals were getting ready, there was really nothing more we could do to prepare for it". But it is a signal of how very intense the flu season has been.

There's also hope for a universal vaccine, one that would protect against all influenza viruses.

Right now, the CDC says egg-based is the production method of choice for most current flu vaccines.

It's still "worthwhile" for unvaccinated people to get a flu shot Schuchat said. This action provides enhanced reimbursement to counties and will help fund expanded efforts to promote and increase access to flu vaccines statewide. But it still must go through human trials to be proved effective and safe, and it is years away from fruition. Though this year's vaccine isn't a flawless match for the viruses in circulation, it's still the best way to protect against infection.

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