According to an official warning from the CDC (Center for Disease Control) on Friday, this year’s flu outbreak is the worst since the 2009 swine flu so-called pandemic, and the bad news is that we’re pretty far from seeing its intensity decreasing. Officials at the CDC told reporters that the number of Americans displaying flu like symptoms is on the rise and influenza-hospitalizations are also on the up and up.
As per the latest data from the CDC, flu “activity” remained constant nationwide for the last 3 weeks, which is unusual, as the regular flu-season sees activity waning in certain regions of the US. Here’s the director of the CDC’s Influenza Division Dr. Dan Jernigan:
We often see different parts of the country ‘light up’ at different times, but for the past 3 weeks, the entire country has been experiencing lots of flu, all at the same time.
Seven children died from flu this week, bringing the total figure of child deaths from flu this season to 37, as per CDC Director Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald’s statement. Also, this season saw a higher incidence of flu cases in children than usual. Most people who got the flu this season are infected with one of the most severe (and deadly) strains of flu, the H3N2 virus respectively.
Schools in at least eleven states have been closed as the flu epidemic intensifies; hospitalizations rose to 41.9 people per 100,000, compared to 36,9 per 100,000 just a week before. Texas is already reporting 2,335 deaths related to flu from October through December. The H3N2 virus is particularly dangerous as it strikes hard the elderly and children.
This is no ordinary flu; take it seriously, wash hands frequently, consider wearing gloves in public, especially when shopping, and then discarding them after leaving the store. Wash your hands thoroughly the moment you enter your home.