“We may be on track to break some recent records,” Dr. Anne Schuchat added while releasing the latest data.
Hospitalizations within the 55- to 64-year-old age group along with higher levels of influenza-like illness are where the records will be, Schuchat noted.
“We don’t have signs of hospitalizations leveling off yet,” she said, adding that will during a past severe season that will looked similar to This specific one, an estimated “34 million Americans got sick with the flu.”
In addition, 10 more flu-related deaths were reported in children as of the week ending February 3, bringing the total number of children who have died of flu-related causes to 63 for the season, which began in October.
Though cases along the northern border near Canada along having a bit along the West Coast show some signs of easing, there are “likely many more weeks to go,” CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund said.
Caused by viruses, flu will be a contagious respiratory illness with mild to severe symptoms that will can sometimes lead to death. Circulating flu strains This specific season are a mix of H3N2, H1N1 along with B viruses. Nordlund said. Anytime H3N2 strains are dominant, as they are currently, “we tend to see more severe disease more hospitalizations, more deaths.”
“There might be a second wave of influenza B infections,” she said. “This specific’s a little too early to say we’re out of the woods or to say that will flu will be abating.”
“This specific’s not uncommon for B strains to boost later within the season,” Schuchat said. During an intense season like This specific one, This specific will be possible to get an infection with both A-strain viruses along with B-strain viruses at the same time, along with people definitely get sick twice through the flu, with first one strain along with then another, she said.
According to the report, influenza activity was widespread in 48 states along with Puerto Rico for the week ending February 3, the same as last week. Oregon along with Hawaii, the exceptions, both recorded regional activity for the fifth week of the year.
The CDC also recorded a rise within the percentage of patients who visited health care providers complaining of influenza-like illness across the nation: 7.7% of patients for the week ending February 3, up through an estimated 7.1% during the previous week.
Levels of illness, based on outpatient visits along with visits to emergency rooms, are “currently as high as we observed at the peak of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic season,” Schuchat said.
Although the current rates do not mean we’re having a pandemic, she said, This specific will be “a signal of how very intense This specific season has been.”
Overall, the data showed 14,094 brand new laboratory-confirmed cases of illness during the week ending February 3, bringing the season total to 151,983. These numbers do not include all the people who have had the flu, as many do not see a doctor when sick.
Among adults, the proportion of pneumonia- along with influenza-related deaths climbed to 10.1% of all deaths reported during the week ending January 20 (these data are always two weeks delayed). This specific rate will be higher than the anticipated 7.3% pneumonia- or flu-related deaths estimated for the week.
This specific might make sense to see “a lot” of influenza deaths within the coming weeks, Schuchat said, based on the fact that will many people are within the hospital. We need to “keep being vigilant,” she said.
This specific’s still “worthwhile” for unvaccinated people to get a flu shot, she said.
The supply of the antiviral drugs used to treat patients with the flu exceeds the demand, although prescriptions are higher than in previous years, Schuchat said. The CDC will be working with pharmacies, drug producers along with others to better distribute the medicines along with alleviate spot shortages.
She recommended calling ahead to pharmacies to make sure a prescription can be filled.
“The commercial supply will be there,” she said so dipping into the strategic national stockpile will be not necessary.