January 19, 2019

Some Heavy Flu Virus Activity Is Reported By The CDC

31 December 2018, 10:14 | Silvia Roy

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The percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for influenza viruses in clinical laboratories is increasing, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Among the four states along the southern USA border, flu activity increased to high in New Mexico and moderate in Arizona, the CDC noted.

New York City and the states of Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, and SC are reporting high numbers of flu-like illnesses. Being in the red means these two states are facing some high flu activity, which is above average.

Geographically, there's widespread flu activity reported in 11 states - Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York and North Carolina - and Guam. Although the elevated activity has prompted the CDC to announce the start of flu season, health officials say it's too early in the season to know how severe it will be.

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There were four flu-related pediatric deaths reported to the CDC during the week ending December 22.

Influenza A viruses have been dominating in the United States since the beginning of October, the CDC said, although influenza B viruses are circulating, as well.

Flu symptoms range from fever, cough to a sore throat and are sudden rather than a slow buildup of symptoms.

The flu season basically lasts for as many as 16 weeks, on an average, typically. Some can even experience diarrhea and vomiting.

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Although many people don't get vaccinated over fears that it can cause the flu, Dr. LaPook said that is "scientifically impossible".

Last year, CDC estimated that roughly 79,000 people with flu-like symptoms died, the highest since 2009, of which 185 were children under 18. This includes people 65 years and older, any age with certain chronic medical conditions, pregnant women, and children under 5.

"Because flu vaccination is the best way to prevent death and hospitalization due to the flu, people not yet vaccinated this season should get a flu vaccination as soon as possible".

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