Widespread flu activity grows to 35 states

A Weekly Influenza Surveillance Report Prepared by the Influenza Division.

Centers for Disease Control

A weekly influenza surveillance report shows 35 states as battling widespread flu activity, up from 25 last week.

Thirty-five states are currently battling widespread flu activity, up from 25 last week, with some of the most recent related deaths including the young and the healthy.

This week’s grim report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows 2,622 nation-wide hospitalizations since flu season began in October — an increase of 1,039 hospitalizations since last week.

Of those numbers 61.5% of them are said to be between the ages of 18 and 64 which is an astonishing contrast to last year where the most affected group of people were described as 65-years-old or older.

RELATED: TEXAS MOTHER DIES OF FLU AT AGE 29: REPORT

Among the youth, four more pediatric deaths are also reported this week. Three area said to be associated with the 2009 H1N1 virus which appears to be dominating the nation-wide illnesses.

Those deaths bring the grand total to 10.

“High levels of flu activity are likely to continue for several weeks. If you have not gotten your flu vaccination yet this season, you should get one now,” the CDC is warning while specifying those as young as six-months old as able to be vaccinated.

RELATED: CANADA REPORTS FIRST FATAL CASE OF H5N1BIRD FLU IN NORTH AMERICA

Comparing this season, seen in red, to last season's illnesses, seen in dark blue, the numbers are far less severe. It's not clear whether we've reached our peak yet.

Centers for Disease Control

Comparing this season, seen in red, to last season’s illnesses, seen in dark blue, the numbers are far less severe. It’s not clear whether we’ve reached our peak yet.

In California, where one of the latest deaths included a 23-year-old man who had been described as “healthy” before taking ill, as KTVU reported, the state is imploring its residents to get vaccinated.

“California is seeing an accelerated increase in flu activity over the past few weeks,” said Dr. Ron Chapman, director of the California Department of Public Health, while announcing the number of flu-related deaths as hitting seven.

The department said Friday that six of those deaths have been attributed to the H1N1 virus. Twenty-eight other deaths are currently under investigation.

RELATED: FLU SEASON NEARS PEAK AS DEATHS CLIMB

“Our flu season may not peak for several more weeks, so I encourage everyone to get vaccinated to protect not only themselves, but those with whom they come into contact,” warned Chapman.

In comparison to the same time last year, the U.S. is in better shape, but it’s not clear whether we’ve reached our season’s peak.

According to last year’s week ending January 5, the nation was battling “elevated” levels with 47 states reporting widespread influenza activity.

The proportion of deaths was also slightly above epidemic threshold.

ngolgowski@nydailynews.com


Lifestyle – NY Daily News

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