Friday, 10 April, 2020


Amid coronavirus fears, a second wave of flu hits US kids

Wendy Kerley gives Ethan Getman 15 a shot of the flu vaccine at the Cordova Shot Nurse clinic in Memphis Tenn Wendy Kerley gives Ethan Getman 15 a shot of the flu vaccine at the Cordova Shot Nurse clinic in Memphis Tenn
Patty Aguilar | 19 February, 2020, 01:58

In the latter part of January, a second wave of the flu virus struck and last week saw another rise in the percentage of doctor's office visits that were due to flu-like illness, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Health officials are trying to use labs that test for flu to check for coronavirus, too.

So far, only 15 USA cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed, and no deaths.

"We take into consideration patterns of flu from different years, different types of flu going across the globe", said Mary Parrish with the Brazos County Health District.

The percentage of influenza-associated hospitalizations has continued to increase in recent weeks to 5.16%, higher at this point in the season than past year but lower than in the 2017-18 flu season, which was a severe one.

Symptoms typically start one to four days following exposure and include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headache and fatigue.

The latest USA case is a patient who was among the Americans evacuated from the Chinese city of Wuhan - the epicentre of the outbreak - and placed under quarantine at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, the CDC said.

"The big thing is, if someone gets sick with the flu, their sick time is much shorter compared to an unvaccinated person", said Parrish.

While health officials put plans in place for any possible outbreak of coronavirus, doctors around the United States continue to help patients battle the seasonal flu.

So far this season, there have been an estimated 26 million illnesses, 250,000 hospitalizations and 14,000 deaths from flu, according to the CDC.

Health officials said there have been almost 5,500 hospitalizations since the beginning of Ohio's flu season on September 29.

There were 17,233 laboratory-confirmed flu cases in the week ending on February 8, the second-highest weekly total since 1999.

Experts say it is potentially a bad time for an extended flu season, given concerns about the new coronavirus out of China.

"As flu season has not yet peaked across NY, I urge everyone to remain vigilant and take simple precautions to protect themselves and their families", Governor Cuomo said.

"People being a little anxious and seeking care doesn't especially worry me, because that's the point", she said.

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