Health

Influenza boundless in US with 17.8 million cases since October, however specialists see ‘low-severity’ season

With the flu season still in full swing, as many as 17.8 million people — including 2 million more within the last week — have fallen sick with influenza since October in what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls a “low-severity” season, officials said Friday.

Notwithstanding a milder season this year, the CDC cautions that influenza action this week is the most astounding it has been all season and urges people to get an influenza immunization, utilize ordinary preventive activities, and to utilize antivirals as prescribed.

Flu is “widespread” topographically in Puerto Rico and 48 states, which means cases were reported for in the greater part the districts of the state, as indicated by the CDC.

The flu is blamed for 11,600 – 19,100 deaths, with up to 221,000 hospitalizations and up to 8.4 million flu medical visits. The CDC says there have been 34 pediatric deaths this season.

The CDC found, however, lower percentage of outpatient visits, lower rates of hospitalization and fewer deaths attributed to pneumonia and flu compared with recent years.

Last influenza season, which extends from October as far as possible of May, an expected 49 million Americans became sick, 23 million looked for medical care and 960,000 were hospitalized.

While any flu activity is alarming, the CDC says, the overall hospitalization rate so far this season is 23.8 per 100,000 people compared to 30.5 per 100,000 at this period last year. The highest rate is among adults 65 years and older, accounting for 64 hospitalizations per 100,000 population.

With the exception of the 50-64 age group, where hospitalizations are about the same as 2018, the rates “are a lot lower than last season,” the CDC says.

The CDC credits immunizations with blunting the effect of influenza this year.

“Early estimates indicate that influenza vaccines have reduced the risk of medically attended influenza-related illness by almost half (47%) in vaccinated people so far this season,” the CDC says.

Out of the blue, the CDC this year has possessed the capacity to follow key information in close continuous as opposed to holding up until after the season ends.

The most recent report takes note of that influenza immunizations have decreased the rate of illness caused by the predominant, yet milder, Influenza A (H1N1) virus by about 46 percent among patients of all ages, and about 62 percent among children 6 months through 17 years of age.

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