“It has been a tricky flu season to this point this 12 months,” Dan Jernigan, director of the Influenza Division of the Nationwide Middle for Immunization and Respiratory Illnesses, informed reporters in a press briefing Friday. Though flu exercise is starting to go down in elements of the nation, similar to California, it stays excessive for many of the US. In truth, 49 states have reported widespread flu exercise for 3 weeks in a row, which is notable.
The predominant pressure, H3N2, shouldn’t be new, however it’s recognized for being notably nasty. In H3N2 seasons, there are “extra circumstances, extra visits to the physician, extra hospitalizations, and extra deaths, particularly amongst older folks,” Jernigan says.
This 12 months’s season seems much like 2014–15, which was categorized as “excessive severity” and likewise had H3N2 appearing because the predominant pressure. Nonetheless, the variety of influenza-related deaths has risen quickly up to now week, together with seven kids who died, bringing the full to 37. “We suspect there will likely be extra deaths, much like what we have seen in previous seasons, as knowledge proceed to come back in,” Jernigan mentioned.