Why this year's flu is hitting kids hard

Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh

Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh

If the current strain continues to be the predominant virus, it is what the head of the epidemiology and prevention branch of CDC's flu division expects.

CDC does not know the exact number of people who have been sick and affected by influenza because influenza is not a reportable disease in most areas of the United States.

"The system continuously evaluates the predictive power of each independent method and recalibrates how this information should be used to produce improved flu estimates", says Santillana.

WTHR-TV reports that at this same point a year ago, IN had 50 flu-related deaths.

"Flu vaccination is the safest and most effective way to prevent the flu which can lead to missed work and school, and cause other serious health complications", Dr. Clint Koenig, ODH Medical Director, said, "Pregnant women, young children and people who already have serious medical conditions are especially at risk for serious complications from the flu".

"Here's another proactive step you can take to protect your baby", Gupta said of a flu shot.

About 6 million to 7 million Americans have become ill since flu season kicked off in the fall.

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The CDC usually doesn't make those estimates until a flu season is over, but researchers have been working on the model for almost a decade and believe it is sound enough to use while the season is still going on, officials said.

Half went to their doctor for help, and up to 84,000 were so sick they had to be hospitalized.

Because the model is new, CDC researchers said they aren't able to compare those estimates to previous flu seasons.

The estimates are based on rates of confirmed influenza hospitalizations that are obtained from a surveillance network that covers about 8.5 percent of the US population, or about 27 million people, the CDC said.

Instead of relying on people to get vaccinated every year, scientists are getting closer to a flu vaccine that would last through multiple seasons, called a universal flu vaccine.

"It is important to remember that, even if a patient gets the flu after receiving the vaccine, it is not usually as severe as if the patient had not received the vaccine at all", Durham wrote.

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