A special education teacher in Texas is reportedly on life support after contracting both strains of influenza, as the worst flu season in years engulfs the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Friday reported 42 states had heavy flu-related patient traffic last week, up from 39 the week before.
Levels of illness, based on outpatient visits and visits to emergency rooms, are "now as high as we observed at the peak of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic season", Schuchat said. The total death statistics has climbed up to a staggering 40,414 across the country. MA researchers tracked elementary and middle school students who participated in a 12-week physical activity program before school and found they lost weight and improved their social and emotional wellness.
"This is a hard season, and we can't predict how much longer the severe season will last".
Although deaths among children - at 63 kids - and adults have not been extremely high, it is possible they could increase in line with hospitalization rates, she said.
In the most recent week data were available, 10% of deaths in the nation were from influenza and pneumonia.
The viral strain causing the most illness this year, H3N2, causes especially severe illness and is hard to control with vaccination.
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"We don't have signs of hospitalizations leveling off yet", she said, adding that during a past severe season that looked similar to this one, an estimated "34 million Americans got sick with the flu". Scientists are studying circulating viruses to see whether anything unusual is going on, Schuchat said.
"The flu is more than just 'a bad cold.' It's a serious respiratory illness that's easily spread from person to person, usually when the person with the flu coughs or sneezes", Dr.
A 58-year-old mother from Forth Worth, Texas who was diagnosed with two different flu strains this season died on February 3 due to complications. "We urge parents to protect themselves and their families by getting this potentially life-saving vaccine today".
It's still "worthwhile" for unvaccinated people to get a flu shot, she said. "In recent weeks, the percent of specimens testing positive for influenza A has been decreasing, while the percent positive for influenza B viruses has continued to increase".
Flu is sickening and hospitalizing Americans at rates not seen in almost a decade, and the season is getting worse, federal health officials said Friday.
She recommended calling ahead to pharmacies to make sure a prescription can be filled.