If you're still waffling about getting this year's flu vaccine, Anne Schuchat, the CDC's acting director, has a message for you: get it done. The CDC said that one out of every 10 deaths in the last week were from the flu, almost 8 percent of all hospital visits were flu-related, and 48 states are experiencing widespread influenza activity.
"We're seeing a big rise in urgent care visits for influenza or influenza-like illnesses", she said.
She added that overall hospitalization rates are now "significantly higher" than what we've seen at this point in the season in previous flu seasons. "Historically, seasons with high levels of H3N2 have been associated with more severe influenza illnesses with higher numbers of hospitalizations and deaths". She said there have been two confirmed flu deaths this season, neither of which were children, and 438 Alaskans who have tested positive for the flu. People can spread the flu for one day before the onset of symptoms and for five to seven days after they become ill. Symptoms can include a sudden onset of fever, dry cough, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, sore throat, and nasal congestion or stuffiness.
Even though there is still a risk of getting the flu after getting a shot, this vaccine is the first line of defense in protecting our loved ones from getting sick.
Flu-related hospitalizations rose to about 60 people out of every 100,000 in the fifth week of 2018, the CDC said Friday in its weekly surveillance report.
The amount of influenza ravaging the USA this year rivals levels normally seen when an altogether new virus emerges, decimating a vulnerable population that hasn't had a chance to develop any defences.
Susie Bennett, a registered nurse with the Cass County Health Department, said the department has given about 650 flu shots to children and adults this flu season.
This season is now as bad as the swine flu epidemic nine years ago.
The flu has further tightened its grip on the US.
A government report released Friday showed 1 of every 13 doctor visits was for fever, cough and other flu symptoms.
People are also recommended to avoid crowds, wash hands often, avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth, clean and disinfect surfaces and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
"You want to take precautions because some of the strains out there are very detrimental to your health and definitely can be worse case scenarios. pneumonia, secondary infections, complications that way. you really need to take all precautions you can to prevent it", according to Dr. Torrey.
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