FRIDAY, January 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) – Influenza The season is gaining momentum, with approximately 7 million Americans having been hit by a strain of the influenza virus, health officials said Friday.
Nearly half of these people have consulted a doctor, while between 69,000 and 84,000 people have been hospitalized for an influenza-related illness, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced in a new communicated.
As of January 5, 15 states and New York City reported high influenza activity, and the disease was widespread in 30 states.
The most common type of influenza is influenza A H1N1. This strain was circulating and pandemic in 2009 and 1918.
In 1918, the H1N1 flu killed 50 million people worldwide. But the current vaccine works extremely well against H1N1 – it is 65% effective, which is very effective for a flu vaccine, according to the CDC.
"H1N1 is the most common [strain] Lynette Brammer, head of the National Influenza Surveillance Team at the CDC, said last week. But it is strange that in the south-east, the H3N2 virus is more widespread.
Influenza strain A H3N2 is the one that made last year's influenza season so intense. When this strain predominated, nearly one million Americans were hospitalized and 80,000 died.
According to the CDC, influenza activity was widespread in 30 states – Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Wyoming.
CDCs do not track deaths from influenza in adults, but they keep an eye on deaths in children. As of January 5th, this total was 16.
"There is still a lot of influenza season," Brammer said last week. "I'm waiting for the activity to continue for several more weeks."
The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones is to get a vaccine against influenzaand there is still plenty of time to get vaccinated, she said.