DE reports first flu-related death of season

Georgia Reed
December 14, 2017

"Vaccination is the best way to protect against influenza, and is especially important for health care workers", said Dr. Zucker.

"If you've had the flu vaccine and you still get the flu you are much less likely to be hospitalized with pneumonia, than if you didn't have the vaccine at all", said Dr. Hawse. Likewise, the 257 hospitalizations since the recognized start of the flu season mark a significant increase over the 83 to this point a year ago.

University of Memphis doctor Xinhua Yu believes only time will tell when it comes to how bad this flu season will be in Memphis this year.

Flu cases in Australia during the 2017 southern hemisphere winter resulted in record-high numbers of lab-confirmed hospitalizations and deaths, Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, wrote recently in the New England Journal of Medicine.

He predicts the peak of flu season will hit sometime between late December and early March 2018. Reports say that this year's vaccine is only 10% effective.

There have been 612 influenza-related hospitalizations reported, and no reports of pediatric deaths from influenza.

Yet an expert from the state DPH said it's a bit early to push the panic button and declare this season's vaccine ineffective. Over the last three seasons, there have been 19 pediatric flu deaths in NY and an average of 11,183 flu-related hospitalizations each season.

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The CDC notes that the flu vaccine is safe for pregnant women as well as breastfeeding mothers, who can reduce their risk of catching the flu and passing it on to their infants by receiving a flu shot.

"Unfortunately, it's the one strain that the vaccine is really underperforming in, in every regard", he said.

It's time for NY health care workers who have not received flu shots to don face masks when working with patients.

The programme was meant to help the media to correctly report on the flu, avoid sensationalism and misinformation that could create fear and panic among the people.

"This work adds to a growing global understanding of the burden of influenza and populations at highest risk", said Danielle Iuliano, a CDC researcher and the study's lead author.

Flu symptoms include sudden onset of fever, chills, headache and muscle aches as well as a cough or sore throat.

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