CT health officials: Deadly flu season is intensifying

Officials with Audubon County Memorial Hospital and Clinics say that while no flu related deaths have occurred in Audubon County, flu cases are on the rise and are expected to peak in February or March. "However, we know from past experience, it will be many more weeks for flu activity to slow down". "It turns severe illness into more mild illness", Folk said. Texas is second only to Arkansas in the percentage of doctor visits linked to the flu.

When asked whether there has been a shortage of antivirals, Carter said he has not received reports and will be getting in touch with the state's hospitals and expects it to be part of a conversation today with the CDC.

The strain is taking its worst toll on the elderly, but is also causing complications for Baby Boomers and young children.

This week's flu stats are particularly sobering when it comes to pediatric deaths.

Florida has reported 73 outbreaks of influenza and flu-like illness this season - more outbreaks than in previous seasons at this time, which may indicate a more severe season.

This year's flu season has been markedly worse than those of the last few years.

"Even though it's not ideal, it's still the best protection we have", said Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease specialist at University Health Network in Toronto. Annual hospitalizations range from 140,000 to 710,000 and deaths are estimated between 12,000 and 56,000 each year.

"Now is the time to get your flu vaccine if you have not already", said Kris Ehresmann, director of infectious disease at the Minnesota Department of Health.

According to CDC director Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, "While our flu vaccines are far from ideal, they are the best way to prevent getting sick from the flu, and it is not too late to get one".

The effectiveness of the vaccine was also lower in 2014-15, Jernigan said.

Haggie says there are suggestions that one of the four strains of the virus contained in this year's influenza vaccine is less than flawless.

The statistics prompted doctors to tell people to take precautions.

Other tips: Wash your hands frequently, cover your mouth with the upper sleeve when coughing and stay home when you're sick as good preventative measures.

  • Leroy Wright