Wednesday, 17 October, 2018


CDC Report Shows Over 80,000 Flu-Related Deaths In US Last Winter

Get Ready, Medical Folks Say Another 'Bad' Flu Season Coming CDC: Flu vaccination rates for Minnesota children drop with age
Patty Aguilar | 29 September, 2018, 22:11

Of the fatal cases, 180 were in children, the highest ever for a nonpandemic flu year since the CDC began tracking the data in 2004.

CDC estimates that flu vaccines prevent tens of thousands of hospitalizations each year and a CDC study in 2017 was the first of its kind to show flu vaccination reduced the risk of flu-associated death by half (51 percent) among children with underlying high-risk medical conditions and by almost two-thirds (65 percent) among healthy children.

In previous seasons, flu-related deaths have ranged from a low of about 12,000 during the 2011-2012 season to a high of about 56,000 during the 2012-2013.

The 2017-2018 flu season was made worse by two factors: strains that hit the very young and elderly especially hard, and a poor matchup between those strains and those in the flu vaccine.

"Last year was just a terrible season", said Daniel Jernigan, head of the CDC's influenza division.

"So the more people who are vaccinated the less flu there is circulating, the less risky it is to those people who are getting chemotherapy or on chronic steroids and can not be vaccinated".

The SD Dept. of Health recommends getting your flu shot as early as possible to protect you through the entire flu season.

But experts say focusing only on that measure misses too many other benefits of the vaccine that are less well-known. "That layer of added protection is important", she said. The CDC also identified that the Influenza A (H3N2) virus was the most common type of flu during the 2017-2018 season. Estimates from the past two years were just over 60 percent. William Schaffner, MD, NFID's medical director, said in an NFID news release, "Influenza and pneumococcal vaccination are an important part of managing chronic diseases". The sooner you get vaccinated the better.

How are you going to help prevent yourself from getting the flu this year?

Last season, more than 900,000 were hospitalized, double the number during many regular seasons.

Vaccination doesn't guarantee a person will avoid contracting the flu, but research shows that people who are vaccinated are less likely to experience severe complications. Businesses can also arrange for the hospital to come and host a flu shot clinic for employees.

Swanson, who heads digital innovation at Seattle Children's Hospital, recently created a new skill for Amazon.com's voice-assistant device, Alexa, called Flu Doctor to answer questions about flu.

Flu vaccinations are strongly recommended for everyone six months of age and older.

"People die from the flu every year".

The Minnesota Department of Health is joining with pediatricians to try and get more children vaccinated for influenza.

According to the Associated Press, last year's season was particularly deadly. People with allergies to vaccine ingredients can often receive the vaccine safely, if it is given in a doctor's office where they can be monitored.

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