CDC Warn Flu Season Not Over Yet

Good news is that number of people with flu is decreasing, however CDC warns that the flu season isn’t over yet. Current data indicate that the 2017-2018 flu season peaked at 7.5% in early February (during week 5) and is now on the decline. However, 34 states plus Puerto Rico continue to report widespread flu activity and 21 states plus New York City continue to experience high influenza-like illness (ILI) activity. The overall hospitalization rate and all age-specific hospitalization rates are now higher than the end-of-season hospitalization rates for 2014-2015, a high severity, H3N2-predominant season. CDC also is reporting an additional 5 flu-related pediatric deaths during week 9, bringing the total number of flu-related pediatric deaths reported this season to 119. Flu activity is likely to remain elevated for several more weeks.

CDC routinely recommends influenza vaccination for all persons 6 months of age and older as long as flu viruses are circulating. While H3N2 viruses remain predominant overall this season, the proportion of B viruses versus A viruses is now about even. In recent weeks, B viruses have been increasing while H3N2 viruses have been decreasing. Early vaccine effectiveness (VE) estimates through February 3, 2018 show that flu vaccine has reduced the risk of having to go to the doctor due to flu by 36% overall. VE against H3N2 viruses was 25%. VE against H1N1 67% and VE against B viruses was 42%. In addition, in the context of widespread influenza activity, CDC clinicians and the public are reminded of the importance of prompt treatment with influenza antiviral medications in people who are severely ill and people who are at high risk of serious flu complications who develop flu symptoms.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.