Flu activity increasing nationally — CDC

Posted January 27, 2019

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says flu activity has increased around the country in the last week, with more than nine million people having been sick with the flu.

"We've certainly seen the number of lab-confirmed cases come down", Waters said.

In recent years, one of the biggest myths about childhood vaccines was that they can cause autism in children.

An effectiveness of about 70 per cent means that getting inoculated would have prevented seven out of 10 cases of influenza in unvaccinated people had they chosen to get the shot, explained Skowronski, an influenza expert at the BCCDC.

The vaccine is effective against both strains, along with influenza B, which may yet rear its head and tends to appear later in the season. "In many parts of Canada, including British Columbia, we have passed the peak in influenza activity due to the now dominating strain, which is an H1N1 kind of strain", Skowronski said. And, the CDC says over the last two weeks, flu activity nationwide is on the rise.

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By comparison, as of January 12 of the current flu season, there have been two deaths and 93 influenza-associated hospitalizations.

Flu shots work. They aren't ideal, but they can help prevent you from getting sick with the flu and have other benefits.

Sixty-one counties in New York reported confirmed cases of influenza over the past week, including every county in the Hudson Valley, according to the New York State Health Department.

The flu-related death toll in Alberta has reached 25. The report shows most of the flu diagnostic tests with positive results have been Influenza A. Only 2.68 percent of the positive tests were Influenza B.

While flu season typically peaks in February, it is very important to understand that there are few things that are typical about the flu.

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Past year in January, the practice tested 268 patients and saw 107 positive results with Influenza B being the most common.

With H1N1 dominating, young children have been especially hard hit by the flu this year - likely because they've had little or no previous exposure to that viral strain and therefore have not built up any natural immunity.

Although this year's flu season is already on the downswing, Skowronski explains that it's not too late for people to get vaccinated.

Last season, just 38 per cent of Canadian adults got the flu shot, with vaccine uptake varying by age and risk factors for complications, a PHAC spokesperson said.

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