Flu Activity Declining as SC Deaths Reach 201

Expand                      Image by Thinkstock

Expand Image by Thinkstock

Federal health officials decided last week on which influenza strains to include in the vaccine for next season. Of these, 217 occurred in the last two weeks. In addition, the vaccine is 42 percent effective against the influenza B viruses, which are also circulating widely, the researchers said.

He explained that for a pandemic to happen, there needs to be a "dramatic shift" in the flu virus - something we can expect to see roughly every 20 to 40 years.

The report, which accumulated flu data from October 1, 2017 to March 3, 2018, stated 207 Iowans have died this season due to influenza-related activity.

In the past week, 34 more people died from the flu, bringing the total number in SC this season to 201.

"We can not say for sure which virus will be circulating", said Wenqing Zhang, head of the WHO's global influenza programme.

Gundersen Health System in La Crosse has not seen any flu-related hospitalizations yet in March. The latest stats show more than 43-hundred hospitalizations and 228 deaths in this record year.

Flu is a contagious, viral illness that causes mild to severe symptoms that can sometimes lead to death. They advised people to treat themselves at home, if possible.

The number of laboratory-confirmed cases of flu now stands at 16,986 as of the state's March 9 report, an increase of 1,215 from the year-to-date figure for the week ending March 2. The e-mail included a reminder for students that they would still be responsible for making up any missed assignments and exams should they become ill, but it also sent messages to faculty asking them to assist students in getting back up to speed after a verified bout with the flu. "We monitor the situation going on there", she said.

Although the number of confirmed flu cases is declining, health officials say New Yorkers should still take appropriate steps to stop the spread of the virus.

DHEC says the flu shot is the best protection against the flu.

The rate of influenza-related hospitalizations in the United States almost doubled in just 1 week as the country deals with a severe but not unprecedented influenza season that is being dominated by a strain associated with reduced vaccine effectiveness and serious illness, CDC officials said.

"Anytime I walk into a patient's room, any time I walk out, I wash my hands (and) sanitize them", he said.

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