Health Care

Deadly Flu Season Claiming 100 Lives Per Week, CDC Warns

Deadly Flu Season Claiming 100 Lives Per Week, CDC Warns

Usually, flu season starts in December and then peaks in January or February, with a total three-month duration. "That's double what we saw past year".

Another reason we're having trouble with this year's flu is that, according to National Geographic, the flu vaccine mutated while being prepared in laboratories, rendering it a little less useful than other years.

Hospitals in Chicago, such as Loyola University Medical Center, are instituting similar policies as they deal with more flu cases than they have in years.

The influenza A subtype H3N2 that appears to be most prevalent this year is particularly nasty, with more-severe symptoms including fever and body aches. Then, in late December and early January, the epidemic appeared to be striking nearly everywhere in the country at the same time - giving the agency's flu map an unusually uniform look. Flu does not always behave the same way throughout the country, he said.

The flu shot doesn't contain a live virus. The viral illness can cause mild to severe symptoms that can sometimes lead to death.

He added that the vaccine is about 30 percent effective. In other words, there's no way getting the flu shot can give chronic kidney disease and dialysis patients the flu.

Who is most at risk? This was followed by adults ages 50-64, who also experienced increases from the week-ago report (33.2 per 100,000 versus 24.0 per 100,000, respectively).

Children are considered highly vulnerable to the disease.

"It is widespread", said Adrienne Byrne, Sedgwick County Division of Health director. Last week, the proportion of deaths linked to the flu and pneumonia has crossed what the CDC sets as its "epidemic" threshold in every region in the nation. Final counts were 148 in 2014-2015; 92 in 2015-2016; and 110 in 2016-2017.

Similar to many other hospitals, Riverside Medical Center and associated clinics also require employees to be vaccinated or wear a mask. Check the Vaccine Finder website at for a location near you.

He recommended the public to stay at least six feet (about 1.8 meters) away from anyone with influenza, "not just those who are sneezing and coughing, but anyone talking!" The CDC is here to debunk that theory and says people are less often infected with the flu by doing that.

Jennifer Tornetta, AtlantiCare spokeswoman, said it may be better to ask a friend or other family member to visit or accompany a loved one to dialysis, cancer treatment or other care to better protect them, other patients and staff from the flu.

The CDC is still encouraging people to get a flu shot if they haven't received one. While our flu vaccines are far from ideal, they are the best way to prevent getting sick from flu - and it's not too late to get one. The H3N2 virus strain was dominant in those seasons, as well. Of course, you already wash your hands and carry hand sanitizer, but you should be extra vigilant this year.