State's flu deaths up by 15 since last week

Simon Moss
February 17, 2018

Even in Maryland, some deaths have been reported in connection with the virus.

The agency did not offer additional details on the child. This does not mean that it kept 36 percent of the people who got it from getting sick at all.

"We do continue to recommend getting the vaccine even this late in the season", Schuchat said.

Nearly 70 percent of flu this year has been cause by the influenza A H3N2 strain, and that's where the vaccine was weakest, with estimated effectiveness of only 25 percent.

The hospital paired flu patients in double rooms and used beds in specialty areas of the hospitals to accommodate the overload, Dr. Valenti said. That's no reason for health officials to celebrate yet: That level is among the highest in a decade. Medical officials however, are now warning about a different strain that could increase that number. The decision is made months in advance, when it is hard to know what strains will be circulating. "Many schools have closed in an attempt to control the spread of the illness and doctors' offices are packed with patients seeking diagnosis and antiviral treatment". Childhood deaths have reached about 170 in a season.

The 2017-2018 flu season has been particularly brutal so far.

A child under the age of 10 died from a flu-related illness, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced Tuesday evening.

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According to the DPH, three deaths have been reported in Sussex County with the rest coming from New Castle County. The vaccine provided 59 percent protection against H3N2 in children 8 and younger.

More than 61,000 Pennsylvanians have confirmed cases of the flu and 7.7 percent of Americans have sought the help of a health professional for flu-like illness.

Roughly four in five of the children who died had not been vaccinated. As of February 3, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had reported a total of 63 influenza-associated pediatric deaths this flu season nationwide, according to the Department of Public Health.

More: Why are people outside high-risk groups dying from the flu? He said he, his wife and two children have all been vaccinated. This flu season is a severe one, but it is not yet historically catastrophic.

"It's mostly to protect my granddaughter, who has a low immune system", Woolf said.

Recent research suggests that the traditional production process may make flu vaccines less effective, especially for H3N2. Salamanca Central School District recently closed for a day to disinfect after being faced with a higher-than-average rate of flu related absences in students.

"No one is saying that is the whole story, but that seems to be a contributing factor", Belongia noted. Manufacturers grow flu viruses in chicken eggs.

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