Public Health officials are urging people to go out and get their flu vaccine. The United States is going through a deadly influenza outbreak that has hit harder and earlier than in previous years, and has the lives of a total of 20 children this season. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Friday that the country is facing a particularly bad flu season — one that struck early and is “likely to last for several more weeks,” according to CDC director Dr. Tom Friedman. The disease is now widespread in 47 states, up from 41 last week.
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases says, “It looks like the worst year we’ve had since 2003-2004,” The epidemic, which broke out in early December, has caused some 2,200 hospitalizations across the United States, federal health officials said. Boston in particularly has had a hard hit where officials have declared a public health emergency. They are urging people to stay home because they don’t want any more spreading.
It seems that this year it is stronger because predominant in the air this year is a H3N2 virus. Lyn Finelli, chief of surveillance and outbreak response for the CDC’s influenza division stated that, “that virus is always associated with high numbers of hospitalizations and deaths,” and “It hasn’t circulated in recent years, so there are a lot of susceptible. It has the opportunity to make a lot of people sick.”
Thus, beware go get your flu shot stay home if you are sick, and constantly wash your hands.