Medicine

Flu Season Is Shaping Up To Be A Nasty One, CDC Says

Flu Season Is Shaping Up To Be A Nasty One, CDC Says

Winter told FOX 5 this year's flu season is unlike any other.

The state has seen over 3,800 flu-associated hospitalizations this season, according to the Associated Press.

"The Northridge quake was the last time we saw over 200 patients", emergency room medical director Dr.

Dr. Perry Kendall, British Columbia's provincial health officer, says the national number of flu cases is slightly above average, but what's unusual is the strain people are contracting.

"Flu is everywhere in the US right now", Dr Dan Jernigan, director of the influenza division at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters on a conference call.

"Even if we have hit the top of the curve, it still means there's lots more flu to go", he said in a briefing for reporters Friday.

Unfortunately, the end of this flu season is nowhere in sight.

Though the flu killed three Californians by this time past year, 68 people had died from it by the end of February, according to state data.

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The high uptake of the flu jab this winter follows Australia's worst outbreak on record, with an epidemic in Europe feared later in the year.

It's no secret by now that the flu vaccine is not a good match with the H3N2 flu strain that is dominating the season.

The strain, known as H3N2, mutates, making it hard to match what's in the vaccine to the virus circulating in the community, Kendall said.

As of the week ending January 6, the Minnesota Department of Health reports more than 1,700 flu-related hospitalizations, 55 outbreaks of influenza-like illness in long-term care facilities, 43 outbreaks in schools and one pediatric flu death this season. Other pharmacies reported that they were running low on the medicine or were out completely.

CVS spokeswoman Amy Lanctot said increased demand for Tamiflu in California may have led to some stores being temporarily out of stock.

Bringenberg tried a nearby independent pharmacy but it also had run out. "I think honestly it would make me feel worse to be in the auto driving all over town, so I've just opted for ibuprofen and DayQuil". To be truly effective, a person needs to start taking those drugs within two days of getting sick.

Officials cautioned, however, that the flu is very unpredictable.


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