16 more children dead from flu; peak still to come, CDC says

(CNN) 16 flu-related deaths were reported Fri by the US Centers for Illness Control and Prevention in its weekly flu report . This brings the entire number of pediatric flu-related deaths in order to 53 for the season, which started in October.

According to the report, influenza activity is now widespread in forty eight states and Puerto Rico, straight down from 49 states in the previous fourteen days. Oregon joined Hawaii in cheaper activity levels for the week finishing January 27.
“Our latest monitoring data indicate that flu exercise is still high and widespread throughout most of the nation and increasing general, ” said Dr . Anne Schuchat, the acting CDC director. “So far this year, the cumulative price of hospitalizations is the highest considering that we’ve been tracking in this way, which extends back to 2010.

“This is a very difficult season, inch she said.
Caused by viruses, flu is really a contagious respiratory illness with moderate to severe symptoms that can occasionally lead to death.

The CDC also documented an uptick in the percentage associated with patients who visited health care suppliers complaining of influenza-like illness over the nation: 7. 1% of individuals for the week ending January twenty-seven, up from 6. 5%, the particular newly revised estimated from the earlier week.
“We have not hit our maximum yet, unfortunately, ” CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund said. “Really, in essence, there is still likely many more several weeks to go. ”
Schuchat said there are positive signals within the CDC’s latest review.
“For the second week in a row, you will find signs that activity in the West might be easing up, ” she mentioned. “However, we are by no means out of the forest. ”

One of the worst in years

This particular year’s flu season is rivaling the worst in recent years, according to Doctor Anthony Fauci, director of the ALL OF US National Institute of Allergy plus Infectious Diseases.
Overall, the data showed 17, 024 new laboratory-confirmed cases of disease during the week ending January twenty-seven, bringing the season total to 126, 117. These numbers do not consist of all the people who have had the flu, as many do not see a doctor whenever sick.
The CDC has received reviews of antiviral drug shortages occasionally, Schuchat said. “However, the manufacturers declare there’s product available. Pharmacists may choose to increase supply on their shelves, plus patients may have to call more than one pharmacy to fill their prescription. inch
US As well as Drug Administration Commissioner Dr . Scott Gottlieb said in statement Thursday that some antivirals in addition to flu tests are in short provide. “However, at this time, there is no nationwide lack of these products, ” Gottlieb stated.
Flu vaccines also have been reported in short supply, however they are still available, Gottlieb said. “I strongly encourage anyone who hasn’t a new flu shot to get one plus anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms in order to promptly consult with their health care provider regarding appropriate treatment options. ”

Circulating virus pressures

Moving virus strains included both W strains (Yamagata and Victoria), H1N1 and H3N2, according to the CDC. “It’s an H3N2 year, ” Fauci said.
Historically, H3N2 strains have been “bad actors, ” he said, recognized to cause more complications, hospitalizations plus deaths.
This virus strain is also difficult to this year’s flu vaccine. Scientists in Canada reported in a recent research that the vaccine demonstrated only 10% effective against the H3N2 virus, though the flu shot offered more protection against other presently circulating strains.

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“News from North america is similar to what Australia reported, inch Schuchat said, adding that the CDC’s interim report on preliminary shot effectiveness will be published in a little while. “This is consistent with our worries. ”
The particular hospitalization rate for the fourth 7 days of 2018 is about 51 individuals per 100, 000, higher than within the fourth week of the 2014-15 period, which recorded about 43 individuals hospitalized per 100, 000. The particular 2014-15 flu season was regarded “moderately severe” by the CDC and it has been used as a comparison to the present season.
Dr . Dan Jernigan, director from the influenza division at the National Middle for Immunization and Respiratory Illnesses, said “lots of flu taking place nationwide simultaneously over several weeks — this is an unusual pattern for flu in the US. This season is turning out to be a really challenging one. ”
The 2014-15 season recently had an estimated 710, 000 hospitalizations simply by its end, he said. This year, cumulative hospitalizations rates in Ca are four times higher than at the moment in 2014-15, while rates within Oregon and Minnesota are dual those seen in 2014-15.
If this trend proceeds, the 2017-18 season “may properly exceed” total hospitalizations during the 2014-15 season, Jernigan said.

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About half of the kids who have been hospitalized this season for flu-related causes have no underlying conditions, plus Jernigan said about half of the 53 children who died were “otherwise healthy. ”
The CDC has tracked pediatric deaths since 2004, he stated, and “since that time, they’ve went from 37 to 171 during normal seasons; the highest was during the yr pandemic, when 358 pediatric fatalities were reported. ”
The 2017-18 flu time of year “unquestionably falls into the bucket of the severe year, ” Fauci mentioned.
“This year, 2017-18, for a strikingly lengthy part of the season, completely parallels the particular 2014-15 year, ” he mentioned. “Except that last week or the 7 days before, 2014-15 started to plateau and turn into around — but 2017-18 ongoing to go up.
“We very well may start to see it maximum and turn around, ” Fauci mentioned of the current flu season. “I hope it does, because if it doesn’t, it will probably be an even worse year than we are going to thinking. ”