Published: Sat, September 29, 2018
Medical | By Vicki Mclaughlin

Record-Breaking Flu Epidemic Caused 80000 Deaths Last Season

Record-Breaking Flu Epidemic Caused 80000 Deaths Last Season

The increase isn't a subtle one either.

Last year's flu-related deaths included 180 children, the highest in a regular (non-pandemic) flu season since 2012-2013, although not as high as the 358 children who died during the 2009 flu pandemic.

"So the more people who are vaccinated the less flu there is circulating, the less risky it is to those people who are getting chemotherapy or on chronic steroids and can not be vaccinated. But it's the flu and it can do a lot of tricky things, so we won't know for sure until the season begins in earnest".

"It was a really tough flu year", Colin Bucks told BuzzFeed News. He added, "It's frustrating because it's preventable".

"We don't know what's going to happen, but we're seeing more encouraging signs than we were early past year", Jernigan said.

About 40 percent of USA residents received a seasonal flu vaccination past year.

In children ages 6 months to 17 years, vaccine coverage levels have held steady for the last several seasons, though they still fall short of national public health goals, the NFID said. If, however, you have symptoms of flu and are at high risk of flu complications, or are very sick or concerned about your illness, contact your health care provider.

Children as young as six months are encouraged to get the flu shot, and it is recommended for most adults who do not have egg allergies or have had bad reactions to flu shots in the past.

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"It comes down to this: They have to be willing to take the shot", Haupt said.

"Last year, there were a couple of issues".

Even if a vaccine is less effective, it's still enough to help protect you. The flu vaccine is formulated each year to keep up with flu viruses as they change. That number is likely on the low side of actual deaths due to pneumonia patients who were not tested for the flu, Haupt said.

"We don't know what this season will bring", she said. "Influenza-like illness (ILI) was at or above the national baseline for 19 weeks, making the 2017-2018 season one of the longest in recent years", stated the CDC in a Summary of the 2017-2018 Influenza Season.

"The flu is deadly".

So far, the Associated Press reports USA health officials have denoted the flu that's been detected as a milder strain. Dr. Daniel Jernigan, a CDC flu expert, noted to the AP that early signs point to this year's vaccine being a better match for the flu.

The CDC recommends people get vaccinated by the end of October.

Last year's death toll was reportedly the highest in forty years. The sooner you get vaccinated the better.

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