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Flu is making a comeback in the USA


MickinMD
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Excerpts from: Flu is making a comeback in US after an unusual year off

The U.S. flu season has arrived on schedule after taking a year off, with flu hospitalizations rising and two child deaths reported.

“This is setting itself up to be more of a normal flu season,” said Lynnette Brammer, who tracks flu-like illnesses for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In the newest data, the most intense flu activity was in the nation's capital, Washington, D.C., and the number of states with high flu activity rose from three to seven. In CDC figures released Monday, states with high flu activity are New Mexico, Kansas, Indiana, New Jersey, Tennessee, Georgia and North Dakota.

The type of virus circulating this year tends to cause the largest amount of severe disease, especially in the elderly and the very young

Last year's break from the flu made it more challenging to plan for this year's flu vaccine. So far, it looks like what's circulating is in a slightly different subgroup from what the vaccine targets, but it's “really too early to know” whether that will blunt the vaccine's effectiveness

There are early signs that fewer people are getting flu shots compared with last year. With hospitals already stretched by COVID-19, it's more important than ever to get a flu shot and take other precautions, Brammer said.

“Cover your cough. Wash your hands. Stay home if you’re sick," Brammer said. "If you do get flu, there are antivirals you can talk to your doctor about that can prevent severe illness and help you stay out of the hospital.”

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