Flu deaths in Clark County climb to 22

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Last week, 43 states had high patient traffic for the flu, up from 42, the CDC reported.

Schuchat said West Coast states are seeing more influenza B.

Flu activity continues to increase in the state, as experts say there are many more weeks ahead of us.

The CDC started using a tracking system to get more information on the flu season each year starting back in 2010 that keeps an eye on hospitalizations and the reasons why during this time of the year.

While pandemic is often used colloquially to refer to a particularly bad outbreak of illness in a population, the scientific definition for the word is when there's a new strain of virus for which people have not been previously exposed.

"We have a lot to learn still about influenza", she said. "It's a little too early to say we're out of the woods or to say that flu is abating". But most children and adults who get sick will recover at home, without complications, she said.

The latest FluView surveillance numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that outpatient influenza-like illness (ILI) activity has now reached 7.7% of all clinic visits, which matches the highest level during the 2009-10 H1N1 pandemic. OR and Hawaii, the exceptions, both recorded regional activity for the fifth week of the year. However, preliminary studies out of Australia and Canada have found the shot was only 10 to 20 percent effective in those countries against the H3N2 strain that's causing the most suffering this winter.

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She said the flu remains widespread in almost all states, except for OR and Hawaii.

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene confirmed Friday that a third child has died of flu-related illness during this 2017-2018 flu season. Four of those flu victims were under 18 years old.

Clinics in Minnesota have reported for the past two weeks that 5.2 percent of their patients are coming in with flu-like symptoms. This rate is higher than the anticipated 7.3% pneumonia- or flu-related deaths estimated for the week. She said the county still has vaccine and is not seeing increased demand, but is prepared if needed.

"The virus may also reduce the severity of symptoms of you catch the flu in spite of being vaccinated".

"If persons look like they have the flu, don't wait on a test result - you should treat immediately if it's a person with severe presentation or underlying risk conditions", she said.

"We don't have any signs of hospitalizations leveling off yet." said Schuchat.

The CDC is also asking pharmacies to stock larger amounts of medication to address shortages in antiviral drugs.

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