CDC: Number of flu-related pediatric deaths rises to 20


The most vulnerable are people 65 years and older, children, people with chronic illnesses like diabetes and pregnant women, but the CDC says they are seeing an increase in the data of baby boomers over the age of 55.

"In most years, a flu season lasts anywhere from six weeks to eight weeks to 10 weeks in any particular place, so we're not yet at peak, but we're hearing from hospitals across the state that many are full".

On Friday, Connecticut's Department of Public Health issued an emergency public announcement.

State officials are not mandated to report flu deaths among those 65 and older.

"If it's like other years, there are still 11 to 13 more weeks of influenza to go", Jernigan said, adding that various strains of the flu tend to show up later in the season.

It can be hard to tell in real time where a flu season will fall on the severity scale, because sometimes reports of influenza hospitalization and deaths - especially deaths among children - lag. The vaccine effectiveness against the predominant H3N2 strain has been reported in the low 30 percentile range. Usually with the flu you'll see a high fever, chills, muscle aches, a cough and nasal congestion.

Most people with the flu are able to treat themselves at home with rest, drinking plenty of fluids, and over the counter medications, health officials say, but in some, the disease can lead to complications including pneumonia, seizures, and worsening of chronic medical conditions such as diabetes and heart or lung disease.

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The strain of influenza that is spreading the most is called H3N2.

Those eight bring the total number of fatalities attributed to flu to 14 since October 1, 2017, or what the department considers the beginning of the flu season. It also reported that 1,200 people had tested positive for the flu, a number that experts say is likely much higher.

"One of the concerns we do have is we want to keep our patients safe", said Matthew.

"One thing that we really can predict about the flu is that it is unpredictable", said Dr. Trini Matthew.

The rate of flu hospitalizations - the number of people hospitalized with flu per 100,000 - almost doubled last week compared with the previous week. According to the CDC, this year's flu shot included an influenza A H1N1, an influenza A H3N2, and an influenza B/Victoria lineage virus.

Marin Public Health recommends that residents who are not seriously ill stay home, drink fluids, and take medicine for fever.

State health officials say widespread flu cases are being reported in Alabama, but the illness hasn't reached the level of a pandemic.