Skagit County reports first flu-related death this season

Eastern Health

Eastern Health

The worst flu season in years is only getting worse, with 49 states now seeing widespread misery, US health officials report.

Out of the 427 cases of students with flu-like symptoms, 118 cases were confirmed with the flu since the beginning of the school year.

Only Hawaii and the District of Columbia have been spared widespread flu infection so far, according to the CDC.

"The levels of illness we are seeing are still well within the normal range for what we see in a typical flu season", said Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health for Nova Scotia.

"The season has started early, and it is probably peaking right about now", Jernigan added.

"It is higher this week than last week, which was higher than the week before, so we haven't seen a peak yet", said Dr. Daniel Shin, an infectious disease physician at the hospital. In the last week, hospitalizations of children under five have nearly doubled and there were seven more pediatric deaths, bringing the season total to 20.

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Goldman noted Friday while some media reports have characterized this year's vaccine as less effective in stopping H3N2, people should remember the shot can still help people who come down with illness from getting as sick.

Over the last 13 years there have only been two seasons where the CDC has characterized the flu season as "high severity".

In the last week, doctors have seen an uptick in flu-related doctors visits while the rate of flu hospitalizations almost doubled. Wake Forest Baptist, Cone Health, and Novant Health put in visitor restrictions for the rest of the flu season. We know that B viruses will be showing up later in the season. Those who are most vulnerable to the virus are the very young and the elderly. "Both of those were H3N2 predominant years".

"Now is the time to get your flu vaccine if you have not already", said Kris Ehresmann, director of infectious disease at the Minnesota Department of Health. If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms you are encouraged to make an appointment with your local healthcare provider. That being said, the CDC still said getting a flu shot is one of the best steps you should take.

As of this month, more than 151 million doses of flu vaccine have been shipped.

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