CDC - Flu season to get worse with weeks of suffering ahead

Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health told CBC News one child has died from the flu the area's first pediatric death by flu this season

US health officials reported more bad news on Friday regarding the country's ongoing, deadly flu season: doctors across the country are seeing more cases, hospitalizations and deaths from flu, and there's no sign it's letting up.

Sixty-three children have died of the flu so far this season, with 10 dying in the past week.

It is not clear why this flu season is so intense and so unusually widespread - still causing wide swaths of misery in 48 states and high levels of illness in 43 of them as of February 3.

CDC director Anne Schuchat said: "I know many of you are concerned about this flu season and have seen the heartbreaking stories of those who have lost loved ones". "But this season continues to be challenging, and we may be on track to break records".

The CDC reports this week that 63 people out of every 100,000 between the ages of 50 and 64 have been hospitalized with the flu. CDC investigators noted that this year's most recent data are "approaching the end of the 2014-2015 season rate", which was the last high-severity season.

While there were no specifically new strains of the flu this year, the viruses ripping through the USA are hard to control with the flu vaccine.

Preventing flu with vaccination is the best way to avoid trouble, of course, but statistics released last week out of Canada suggest this season's vaccine is just 17 percent effective against the H3N2 strain.

"Certainly in the case of the child that died, influenza B was a contributing factor, and in the second case that we are investigating it's too early to tell".

In the weekly report, however, the CDC revealed that levels of H3N2 appear to be dropping. Also known as the H1N1 pandemic, the swine flu was a new strain that had never been seen before.

Health officials say the flu shot provides the best form of protection against influenza.

It did not help matters that the flu vaccine was a poor match this year, according to data from Australia.

Schuchat said West Coast states are seeing more influenza B.

Flu viruses will constantly mutate on their own, which is why a flu vaccine is so hard to develop in the first place.

During the 2016-2017 flu season, there were eight pediatric deaths in NY, six of which occurred in the city, according to officials.

We have several months of flu season remaining.

It gets worse. The death toll in future weeks is expected to grow even higher because flu activity is still rising, and the number of deaths follow the flu activity. People can also become infected by touching surfaces or objects contaminated with influenza viruses and then touching their eyes, mouth or nose.

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