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"Very intense" flu season on track to break records, CDC says

10 February 2018

"Our sympathies are with the families at this time", local medical officer of health Dr. Nicola Mercer said in a news release.

- Right now, we're in the middle of flu season, and at the Osceola County Department of Health, workers gave out 300 free influenza shots on Friday.

She said the flu remains widespread in almost all states, except for OR and Hawaii.

As flu diagnoses continue to increase across New York State, Governor Andrew Cuomo has authorized counties to expand efforts that promote and increase access to flu vaccine and other prevention techniques.

The Washington Post reports that another 10 children died in the week ending on February 2, bringing the total number of child deaths in this year's flu season to 63.

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That alarming percentage is applicable to working-age adults-people ages 20 to 64 years old-so the effectiveness could change if you add in the entire population, according to a report from Vox.

The current flu season is "still on the rise", the acting director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.

During the 2016-2017 flu season, there were eight pediatric deaths in NY, six of which occurred in the city, according to officials.

The flu season, which started in October in the United States, may not have yet peaked, either.

Town and regional health departments are holding a number of flu clinics across the state Saturday.

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Three area pediatric deaths have now been connected to the flu.

The scientific community has established the overall efficacy and safety of both flu and childhood vaccines. The type A, subtype H3N2 strain tends to strike older people and young children, who are already more vulnerable to flu. "If you have asthma or other lung diseases, you are at higher risk of developing complications from the flu".

The H3N2 is especially prevalent among children, according to Dr Schuchat. And the flu activity rate this year is just barely behind that peak. The governor says the move is aimed at accommodating New Yorkers still needing a flu shot.

"There might be a second wave of influenza B infections", she said.

That's a somewhat good sign, since it likely means that the more virulent A strain is dropping off. The CDC said there is no evidence of antigenic drift in this year's H3N2 strain, and the explanation for this year's particularly high case numbers is still unknown. People who develop flu-like symptoms should see a doctor right away.

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When asked if residents should be scared in light of the flu's potency, Downes emphasized the same common sense approaches that apply even in years when the virus is much less severe.