There’s a reason why everyone you know is either sick or has been sick as of late. That’s because the influenza season is in high gear and has increased tremendously, becoming the most flu severe season the United states has seen in recent years.
CNN has reported that the flu is widespread amongst America hitting 49 states, excluding Hawaii, according to a weekly report on the illness released for the week ending January 13th by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As many know, the condition is contagious, falls under the viral illness spectrum, and can create severe and mild symptoms that can, at times, be fatal for patients.
Week ending January 13th, there were over 14,400 new cases brought to the forefront, creating a total of well over 74,500 cases for this season alone. This number does not reflect individuals who have influenza, but do not seek medical attention. In addition, sadly, there were ten added deaths among kids during this week that were linked to the flu, creating a total of 30 child-deaths due to the illness.
When it comes to adults, the CDC hypothesizes fatalities based on the flu and pneumonia. Looking at data from the National Center for Health Statistics, over eight percent of all deaths that have occurred during the week ending on January 13 were because of the flu and pneumonia. As per CDC’s Domestic Flu Surveillance team representative, Lynnette Brammer, this number is normal for this point in time during the season.
In addition, the numbers show that for the week ending January 13th, there was an increase of 31.5 hospital admittances for each 100,000 people, versus the 22.7 rate for the previous week.
Brammer hopes that these numbers reflect a peak in the season, but won’t be certain until figures start decreasing. She added that the H3N2 strain, which causes an increase in death and hospitalizations, seems to be the dominant one this season.
One doctor, who has 20 years’ experience in emergency medicine, has stated this is the worst season for the influenza virus that he has witnessed. Many healthcare professionals believe that we will be comparing other flu seasons moving forward, to this one.