Flu Cases Hit New High This Season In San Diego County

Cathy QuinnFeb 17 , 2017

Alabama is one of 23 states experiencing high influenza-like illness activity, and one of 43 reporting widespread activity, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH). During flu season this time a year ago, there weren't almost as many cases, with more than 4,000 reported statewide. "But, the lack of high levels of protection conferred by vaccination underscores the need for new vaccines that provide substantially higher protection as the flu burden remains sizable, even with high levels of vaccination", Adalja said.

It's not ideal, but this year's flu vaccine is a fairly good match for the circulating viruses, US health officials reported Thursday.

"We are definitely beginning to encounter the peak of flu season", said Jamie Swift, Mountain States corporate director of infection prevention. "There is plenty of vaccine available, and from what we're seeing internationally, it looks to be a good match for the predominant strain of virus that's out there right now - the H-3 Type-A virus". The victims ranged in age from 31 to 98 years old.

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Dr. Louis Morledge, an internist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, agreed that it's still worthwhile to get a flu shot.

Pneumonia is one of the most serious flu-related complications that occurs in the elderly. Bratton also cautions that instructors shouldn't let sick people "sit in the back of the room because when they cough, all the [germs] fly forward", infecting everyone in front of them. "We're keeping in contact with the Pitt County Health Department, communicating what we're seeing and following their recommendations". Hope Middle School has been hit the hardest, with up to 70 students missing school each day in the last two weeks.

Hope Middle School had the highest reported number of absences, exceeding 10 percent at one point during the previous two-week period before declining a bit, according to Lisa Jackson, school statistician.

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"We know that influenza vaccine is a good but not ideal vaccine", Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, told ABC News. Health Services said they encourage students to talk to professors afterwards to work out assignment or attendance issues.

Fifteen children have died in the last month from the flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

The latest deaths were reported in Bryan County, Canadian County, Grant County, Kay County, and Tulsa County.

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While 145 million doses of the vaccine have been distributed in the US, only a little more than one-third of children and adults under age 65 were immunized by early November.


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