Friday, January 9, 2015

The Flu Widespread in 43 States

The flu slipped just below epidemic levels over the holidays but spread even farther across the USA and took the lives of six more children.
Twenty-one children have been killed by the flu this season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Almost all flu cases this season have been a strain known as Influenza A (H3N2). H3N2 seasons are generally worse than others, and this year's flu vaccine is not a good match, so it will provide less protection than in other years, though CDC officials still encourage people to get vaccinated.
After officially becoming an epidemic during the week of Dec. 20, the flu slipped slightly below the threshold the next week, though it is widespread in 43 states, up from 36 the week before, the CDC reported. The CDC defines an epidemic using a complex formula based on the rate of deaths from flu compared with previous years.
The government has confirmed with lab tests 3,441 flu-related hospitalizations in 13 sample states since Oct. 1. Actual numbers are far higher across the country.
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