Health

U.S. influenza cases continue to rise

Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter

Friday, January 10, 2014 (HealthDay News)-The flu season continues to strengthen its grip in the United States, and federal officials reported Friday that 35 states are currently experiencing widespread flu activity. ..

Dr. Michael John, head of health care for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s influenza department, said influenza appears to be the hardest hit for young and middle-aged adults this year, rather than older people and children. ..

About 61% of the 2,622 flu-related hospitalizations this season came from people between the ages of 18 and 64, Chung said. Elderly people over the age of 65 typically account for more than half of all influenza hospitalizations during the season.

This may be because the H1N1 strain of influenza is the most prevalent this season and most young adults are not vaccinated against the flu, says Daniel Spogen of the University of Nevada’s Family and Community Health Department. The doctor said. medicine.

“Young and healthy adults are more likely to get sick this season,” added Spogen, a board member of the American Academy of Family Physiology. “If you look at the data, those who are sick enough to be hospitalized are those who have not been vaccinated against the flu.”

According to Chung, about 40% to 45% of people of all ages are vaccinated against the flu each year. However, he said, only 31 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 49 are usually vaccinated against the flu.

Young and middle-aged adults were also disproportionately affected during the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, Chung added.

Another reason for this trend is that until the 2009 pandemic, H1N1 influenza strains were dormant for decades, leaving young adults with little immunity to the virus.

Still, the number of deaths associated with influenza or pneumonia this season is just below epidemic levels, the CDC said.

An estimated 6.9% of all deaths in the United States this season are due to influenza or pneumonia, just below the epidemic threshold of 7.1%. The flu has killed 10 children so far this season, according to the CDC.

According to the CDC, the H1N1 strain accounts for more than half of the influenza virus samples tested this season.

“The H1N1 virus continues to be widespread nationwide,” said CDC spokeswoman Erin Burns. “People who haven’t been vaccinated against the flu this season for more than 6 months should get it now. All flu vaccines are designed to protect against the H1N1 virus.”

The southwestern United States (Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas) is the region most affected by the flu this season. Almost 9% of all clinic visits in the region this week were due to flu-like symptoms, outpacing the incidence of illness in all other parts of the country.

According to the CDC, influenza activity by state is categorized as follows:

  • Extensive activities in 35 states-Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York , North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Road Island, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
  • Regional activities in 12 states: Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia.
  • Community activities in two states, Delaware and Vermont.

Hawaii, the only state, remains largely free of influenza.

Jhung and Spogen recommend that everyone, especially those between the ages of 18 and 64, be vaccinated against the flu.

People also need to practice good hygiene by washing their hands frequently, covering their coughs and sneezes, and staying home from school or work when they are ill, Spogen said.

“People have lost sight of the flu looking like any other virus,” he said. “The best thing you can do is practice the kind of hygiene we always recommend.”

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References

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Influenza Division, Healthcare Officer, Doctor of Medicine, Michael John. Dr. Daniel Spogen, Chairman of the Department of Family Medicine and Community Medicine at Nevada University School of Medicine, and Director of the American Academy of Family Physiology. Erin Burns, spokesman for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC FluView Report, January 10, 2014



U.S. influenza cases continue to rise

Source link U.S. influenza cases continue to rise

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