Representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed this year's staggering numbers are partially due to the prevalence of the Influenza A H3N2 strain and the country could experience an extended peak during this season. The state received reports of roughly 400 lab confirmed cases during the week ending January 20, only about a third as many as during the previous week.
In an emergency health advisory released on December 27, 2017, the CDC warned of increased influenza activity associated with the particularly deadly flu strain A (H3N2). Against the more serious and widespread version of the flu this year, the H3N2 virus, the CDC admits its shot's effectiveness goes down to about 32 percent.
Dr. Brahim Ardolic, chairman of emergency medicine at Staten Island University Hospital, told CNN, "There's no question that the people who got their flu shots this year got less sick than the people who don't".
"Influenza continues to be one of our top public health concerns". "I've been in practice for 30 years, and it's been a good 15 or 20 years since I've seen a flu-related illness scenario like we've had this year".
Patient visits to the state's emergency departments for the flu also continued to climb, with about 3.7 percent of emergency visits stemming from an influenza-like illness.
Madoff said it's still not too late to get a flu shot. Colorado and Larimer County have been hit hard by the flu this season, which started October 1.
Public health officials track influenza deaths only for those 18 and younger, and Katie O'Donnell, spokeswoman for the Larimer County Health Department, said her agency was alerted Friday of a possible pediatric flu death. For more information about the flu, visit http://flu.delaware.gov/ or call DPH at 1-800-282-8672. It's imperative that people over 65, young children, pregnant women, and people with chronic health conditions protect themselves against the flu. "Even with that possibility, it's still the best protection and often, if someone who gets the shot comes down with the flu, their severity and the duration are usually less".
According to the DPH, flu symptoms come on suddenly, and include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headaches and body aches, chills, and fatigue. The illness ranges from mild to severe and can lead to hospitalization and even death.
If someone does get the flu, a doctor can treat them with antiviral medications. "There tends to be intense local transmission with dozens to hundreds of dogs infected", she says.