A new analysis of seasonal flu deaths in United States children in the six seasons that followed the 2009 H1N1 pandemic reveals that children ages 2 and younger are most at risk, and of children who died, less than a third had been vaccinated against the disease.
There are many simple ways to prevent the spread of the flu once someone is diagnosed. "And that's fine because you know, a lot of times, I just say to the parents, look, if you're anxious, just bring them in, let me listen to the hearts and lungs and make sure there's no super infection", says Dr. Shilpa Patel.
The flu can spread easily so it's best to stay home until you're symptom free.
A viruses, often linked to more serious flu illness, continue to dominate. An average of 113 deaths occurred each year.
"We don't have signs of hospitalizations leveling off yet", she said. "The ones that we understand are that it is predominantly an H3N2 year - that's one of the four strains of flu that circulates every year". There are spot shortages of flu-fighting medications, both in Georgia and nationally.
In the Berks region, Montgomery County has had 3,121 cases since reporting began; Lancaster, 3,088; Lehigh, 1,976; Chester, 1,756; Lebanon, 642; and Schuylkill, 607.
State officials announced new efforts Monday to protect children in need from the deadly flu epidemic. OR and Hawaii, the exceptions, both recorded regional activity for the fifth week of the year.
But, many North Carolinians go the entire flu season without getting vaccinated.
"Our findings suggest that data from smart thermometers are a new source of information for accurately tracking influenza in advance of standard approaches", said Philip Polgreen, associate professor at UI. Early last month, it hit what seemed like peak levels - but then continued to surge.
"The flu is so bad this year for a few reasons we understand and some we don't", said Dr. Marc Lipsitch, professor of epidemiology and director of the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics at Harvard.
To that end, the hospital plans to keep the visitor restrictions in place for at least another month, if not longer, as patients and doctors try to weather a particularly contagious storm.
"We have to target the right strains, and even when we get it right, it's not always effective".
The flu season is sticking around another nine weeks. "It's not a hugely new strain".
"What I've been hearing is that they're busy", she said.
There are four types of influenza viruses: A, B, C and D. Human influenza A and B viruses cause seasonal epidemics of disease nearly every winter in the United States.
"I had a lot of tests and labs due so I definitely felt pressured to come to school even though I was sick", Tran said. "We have yet to plateau".
Nassau County will hold two additional clinics this week, one Tuesday from 5 p.m.to 7:30 p.m.at the WIC Office in Hempstead, and another Thursday from 7:30 a.m.to 10 a.m.at the Yes We Can Community Center in Westbury. A recent CDC study showed vaccination prevents deaths by half (51 percent) among children with underlying high-risk medical conditions and almost two-thirds (65 percent) among healthy children.