Archive for Friday, March 2, 2018

Worst of bad U.S. flu season finally over as illnesses decline

Flu declining in Douglas County, as well

In this Feb. 7, 2018 file photo, a nurse prepares a flu shot at the Salvation Army in Atlanta.

In this Feb. 7, 2018 file photo, a nurse prepares a flu shot at the Salvation Army in Atlanta.

March 2, 2018


— The worst of the nation's nasty flu season is finally over.

The season apparently peaked in early February and has been fading since, health officials said Friday. The number of people going to the doctor with symptoms of the flu has continued to decline. Deaths from the flu or pneumonia are going down, too.

Although the peak may have passed, the season isn't finished yet. Reports of flu remained widespread in 45 states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

"The season's not over but we're definitely on the downward trend right now," said Dr. Anne Schuchat, the CDC's acting director.

Locally, the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department posted on social media that hospital emergency rooms are seeing fewer patients from Douglas County who have flu-like symptoms, but the numbers are still higher than the same period in 2017.

None by LDCHealth

Flu usually takes off after Christmas and peaks around February. This season started early and was widespread in many states by December. In early January, it hit what seemed like peak levels — but then continued to surge.

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It had been driven by a kind of flu that tends to put more people in the hospital and cause more deaths, and officials lately are seeing less of that. But another kind that hits children hard has picked up steam. So far this season, health officials say 114 children have died from the flu.

Making a bad year worse, this year's flu vaccine didn't work very well and health officials are trying to figure out why it did so poorly.

Flu is a contagious respiratory illness, spread by a virus. It can cause a miserable but relatively mild illness in many people, but a more severe illness in others. In a bad season, there are as many as 56,000 deaths connected to the flu.

In Friday's report, the CDC said one key measure showed doctor visits last week for fever, cough and other symptoms of the flu dropped again, down to 1 in 20 visits. The number of states reporting heavy patient flu traffic last week dropped to 32.

Amber Smith, a recruiter for a furniture store chain in Charlotte, N.C., thought she didn't have to worry about the flu after a wave of illnesses that hit her company's warehouse in January and February seemed to fade. But she started to feel sick Monday and found out she had the flu. She hadn't gotten a flu shot; her boyfriend did and he hasn't been sick.

"I feel like my head weighs 20 pounds," said Smith, who tried to go to work Friday but was sent home after a morning meeting. "But my throat isn't as sore. I feel like the flu is running its course."


Michael Kort 1 month, 3 weeks ago

What is it about people who get the flu who then go to work ( or elsewhere ) and spread the flu joy to others ?

Do they realize that the flu might actually kill another person that appears to be healthy ?..........or maybe they just don't care if staying home interferes with their plans for their own life ?

Thomas Bryce Jr. 1 month, 3 weeks ago

There are some employers that actually present employees with Letters of Disciplinary Action if that employee calls in sick. Calling in sick is only one of many ways to receive such a Letter. Each letter puts them closer to termination. I would prefer sick employees stay home and get well but it could cost them their job if they work for one of these employers. The Policies of the Corporation drives a lot of this. If it is going to change, the Policy makers will have to change it and make the health and welfare of their employees more important than Profits. Do you see that happening anytime soon? Me neither.

Michael Kort 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Science is now working on a once in a lifetime ( hopefully ) flu shot that recognizes the basics of the flu virus instead of targeting the parts of the flu virus that frequently mutate .

Of course, the federal government can pull the plug on funding for that one..........?

Bob Summers 1 month, 3 weeks ago

I remember when I was told AIDS was a problem.

Whatever happened to that problem critical thinkers?

Michael Kort 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Why AIDS BOB ? Why not drug resistant bacteria that eats flesh ? Just asking ?

What does AIDS have to do with the subject of the FLU ?......The FLU which is what the article was about ?

Linda Moreland Weinmaster 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Hmmm could this be about dollars? Read this if you think I'm wrong. A CDC scientist says the vaccine caused the outbreak of flu this year. He is missing!

1 month, 3 weeks ago

This article quotes the father debunking the rumor about his son saying the flu vaccine causing the flu.

Guess I'm not sure what to believe...

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