Per CDC estimates, there have been 9.7 million flu illnesses, 87,000 hospitalizations, and 4,800 deaths from the flu so far this season. Specifically, 170 people have died due to pneumonia or flu.
The flu vaccine is still available at most local health departments while supplies last.
Nebraska is experiencing a high activity level in flu-like illness so far this season.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by viruses that can be spread by airborne droplets made when people with the flu cough, sneeze or talk. Past year during this time there were 16 pediatric deaths. Cumulative influenza-associated hospitalizations were 14.6 per 100,000, which the agency described as "similar to what has been seen during recent previous influenza seasons this time of year". However, Indiana has not seen any pediatric deaths yet.
Influenza continues to spread in ME with 401 new cases reported through January 11. "But influenza B tends to hit pediatric patients and young adults disproportionately harder". A/H1N1 (pdm09) is the other main circulating strain, and Piedra said that "older folks have a lot of immunity against that type of virus".
Health department numbers state that of those people affected by Influenza A this season, 59% of people were not vaccinated.
Although it doesn't appear to be the best match for Influenza B/Victoria, Dr. Fauci said the vaccine is "a really good match" for the strain called H1N1. "Almost every year, one of the viruses is not perfectly matched".
Flu shots are still effective, county officials say, and those who get a shot now but still get the flu will most likely have more mild symptoms and less risk of serious complications. "Flu waxes and wanes; people shouldn't think it's over", he noted.
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