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Flu variant that hits kids and seniors harder than other strains is dominant in U.S. right away


An indication promoting flu shots is displayed at a Walgreens pharmacy on January 22, 2018 in San Francisco, California. A powerful strain of H3N2 influenza has claimed the lives of 74 Californians under the age of 65 for the reason that flu season began in October of last yr.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

A variant of the flu that hits kids and seniors worse than other strains of the virus is dominant within the U.S. right away, setting the country up for a potentially bad flu season.

Public health labs have detected influenza A(H3N2) in 76% of the greater than 3,500 respiratory samples which have tested positive for the flu and were analyzed for the virus subtype, in line with a surveillance report published Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The H3N2 variant has been related to more severe flu seasons for youngsters and the elderly up to now, in line with Dr. Jose Romero, director the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease.

“There are also early signs of influenza causing severe illness in exactly these two groups of people this season,” Romero told reporters on a call earlier this month.

The flu hospitalization rate has surged to a decade high this season. Overall, about 8 people per 100,000 are being hospitalized with the flu right away but seniors and the youngest children are much harder hit than other age groups, in line with CDC data.

The hospitalization rate for seniors is greater than double the overall population at 18 per 100,000. For youths younger than age five, the hospitalization rate is about 13 per 100,000.

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No less than 4.4 million people have fallen ailing with the flu, 38,000 have been hospitalized, and a couple of,100 have died for the reason that season began. Seven kids have died from the flu to date this season.

“When we now have more H3N2, we often have a more severe flu season — so longer duration, more children affected, more children with severe disease,” said Dr. Andi Shane, a pediatrician and infectious disease expert at Kid’s Healthcare Atlanta.

The opposite influenza A variant, H1N1, is usually related to less severe seasons compared with H3N2, Shane said. H1N1 makes up about 22% of sample which have tested positive for flu and were analyzed for a subtype, in line with CDC.

The share of patients reporting symptoms just like the flu, a fever of 100 degrees or greater plus a sore throat or cough, is the very best in Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Alabama and Washington D.C right away, in line with CDC.

Respiratory illnesses are also very high in Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Recent Jersey, Maryland, Mississippi, Recent Mexico, North Carolina and Texas, in line with CDC.

The CDC recommends that everybody 6 months or older get a flu shot. Children younger than age 8 who’re receiving the vaccine for the primary time should get two doses for the perfect protection.

The flu vaccine is generally 40% to 60% effective at stopping illness, but individuals who do still get sick are less more likely to find yourself within the hospital or die, in line with the CDC.

Public health officials are also encouraging people to remain home once they are sick, cover coughs and sneezes and wash hands continuously. Those that wish to take extra precautions can consider wearing a facemask indoors in public.

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